Amoris Laetitia 278: On Social Media

amoris laetitia memeToday, children and social media: what helps and what hurts?

278. The educational process that occurs between parents and children can be helped or hindered by the increasing sophistication of the communications and entertainment media.

Facilitating communication:

When well used, these media can be helpful for connecting family members who live apart from one another. Frequent contacts help to overcome difficulties.(Cf. Relatio Finalis 2015, 67)

Consider how technology presents an obstacle to real dialogue:

Still, it is clear that these media cannot replace the need for more personal and direct dialogue, which requires physical presence or at least hearing the voice of the other person. We know that sometimes they can keep people apart rather than together, as when at dinnertime everyone is surfing on a mobile phone, or when one spouse falls asleep waiting for the other who spends hours playing with an electronic device. This is also something that families have to discuss and resolve in ways which encourage interaction without imposing unrealistic prohibitions. In any event, we cannot ignore the risks that these new forms of communication pose for children and adolescents; at times they can foster apathy and disconnect from the real world. This “technological disconnect” exposes them more easily to manipulation by those who would invade their private space with selfish interests.

Remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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