To Friend or Not to Friend the Pope on Facebook?
Thursday January 29, 2009
Well, it's official: the Pope (that's PBXVI) is getting all tech savvy and into virtual profiles. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, "The Pope Embraces YouTube, Facebook," reporter Marisa Taylor explains:
"The Vatican announced last Friday that it launched its own channel on YouTube to keep viewers up to date with the activities of Pope Benedict XVI, as well as to celebrate "the capacity of the new technologies to foster and support good and healthy relationships and various forms of solidarity."
Um, does that mean soon we can "friend" the Pope? Well, not quite yet. Though he does have a fan page there. His YouTube hits aren't as high as the Vatican had hoped either--not yet, at least:
"So far, the Pope isn't getting a whole lot of hits on his YouTube channel--the videos he has posted so far have hits numbering in the hundreds to the tens of thousands. But he does have nearly 28,000 "fans" on the Facebook page made in his honor (he doesn't appear to have an official Facebook profile that users can befriend)."
As for Facebook and MySpace in general, apparently PBXVI thinks they are a "gift" to community building--though we should use them thoughtfully and cautiously:
"Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, the Vatican says, "are bringing about fundamental shifts in patterns of communication and human relationships....These technologies are truly a gift to humanity and we must endeavour to ensure that the benefits they offer are put at the service of all human individuals and communities, especially those who are most disadvantaged and vulnerable."Will you join the Pope's Facebook Fanpage? He's got over 28,000 fans at the time of this post, and counting.