On the use of the social media
We cannot doubt the many benefits we can derive from the use of social media. It facilitates communication, a necessity for all of us. We just have to know how to use it properly, for definitely the possibility also is high to use it improperly.
I have always believed the new technologies now are actually posing new challenges to us, not only in the area of knowing their technical mechanisms and how to take advantage of them, but also and more importantly in the area of how to use it properly.
The finer points of the spiritual and moral requirements of their use have to be considered most especially. This is the greater and more important challenge and I am afraid that this aspect of the challenge is largely ignored. We cannot deny that new technologies have great potential to make us a better person. But they can also cause serious, indescribable harm. Let's not be naïve.
At the moment, a cursory look at the postings on Facebook, for example, simply shows all forms of self-indulgence and blatant flauntings of vanity, flatteries, self-glorification, gossiping, etc. If not these, then a lot of bashing, fault-finding, and the like also abound. To a certain extent, social media can be used for commercial purposes, but this needs to be regulated. Coercive chain-letters should be stopped.
Even the expression of opinions is done almost without charity. Very often, unnecessary feuds and disputes erupt over unimportant matters. It would seem these things are becoming the new normal. We have to be careful about this trend. This can only lead us to greater trouble.
We need to remind everyone to practice restraint and moderation in using social media. Everyone should have a clear idea of the priorities of his duties and responsibilities and give the appropriate time and effort there. Definitely, for most of us social media should not get much of our time and attention. For sure, there are many other more important things to do.
Besides, everyone should have a clear vision of what to do there. We just cannot go to social media to satisfy our curiosity. That would be tantamount to idleness and wasting time. Of course, it would be good to have a clear idea of how much time to allot on social media. We should not be there all the time.
In this regard, it would be advisable that our interventions there are always positive and constructive. We should proclaim the “Good News” more than merely opinable matters. Inspiring and edifying stories and testimonies should dominate rather than stories that sow intrigues and invite disputes.
In other words, everyone should have purity of intentions and should practice extreme delicacy in expressing views and opinions. Given the often hasty treatment we give to social media, we should be more mindful of our tendency to be reckless in our interventions, leading to misunderstandings.
We should be quick to ask for forgiveness for offenses as well as to forgive everyone who may have also offended us. We have to learn to respect each other's opinions, even if we do not agree with them.
We should see to it that social media truly contributes to the common good. We have to have some clear criteria and standards to guide us in assessing the true value of this powerful means of communication.
Let's hope that those in the communication business can come up with some pertinent code of ethics. There definitely is a need for continuing education and formation in this area.