Pope Francis

Use Social Media Wisely To Build Bridges, Advises Holy Father

Our Holy Father’s message early this month has a deeper meaning on using social media platforms, responsibly. An earnest request all to heed to our Holy Father’s call.

While blessing a new Argentinian Radio Station early in this month, His Holiness Pope Francis said, “Thanks for all the work you do; thanks for putting yourselves in play for good things, for communicating yourselves, and for building bridges instead of putting up walls. Thanks for not destroying yourselves with gossip but rather offering an outstretched hand. May you continue in this way. ..this is how one builds a society of brothers and sisters”.

As users of Social Media such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, etc; we have a similar responsibility by not adding to the mindless clutter. Let us use these technologies to build bridges rather than walls. These days we are greatly impacted from information overload and it is very easy for one to hit the forward button and send a message to hundreds and may be even thousands.

Before you hit that button, please take a moment and ask yourself following questions:
• Is the information genuine?
• Will it help build bridges?

If you cannot answer these questions, it’s better not to forward such mails. There are sites such as hoaxslayer and boomlive.in that help investigate whether a WhatsApp message is genuine.  if you have a doubt about the veracity of the message, please do check with them, before forwarding messages. Hoaxslayer alone has busted over 1300 fake forwards.

The recent message that went viral for example, with Jesus image on chappals is a hoax and that it had nothing to do with Gujarat. Please see boomlive.in for the factual report.

WhatsApp also never pays one to forward messages.  So kindly do yourself and others a big favour, please cross check the reports before forwarding any message and please keep the sentiments of our Holy Father in mind in using communications media wisely to build bridges rather than put up walls.

God Bless!