Pope Francis wants families to know that technology isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.
“By growing daily in our awareness of the vital importance of encountering others, we will employ technology wisely, rather than letting ourselves be dominated by it,” the Pontiff said Friday in his annual message for World Communications Day.
In other words, cut down on your screen time, kids.
Not that mothers and fathers aren’t beyond reproach: “Parents are the primary educators,” he said, “but they cannot be left to their own devices.”
“The media can be a hindrance if they become a way to avoid listening to others, to evade physical contact, to fill up every moment of silence and rest, so that we forget that ‘silence is an integral element of communication; in its absence, words rich in content cannot exist,’” Pope Francis said.
This isn’t the first time the Pope has implied those family-centric Apple ads might be misleading. “Maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things,” like “chatting on the Internet or with smartphones,” he said last year.
Even in 1967, long before the dawn of the selfie, Pope Paul VI remarked upon the rapidly expanding world of communications, noting how television and other media leave “their deep mark upon the mentality and the conscience of man who is being pressed and almost overpowered by a multiplicity of contradictory appeals.”
It’s like they say in Proverbs 18:2: “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion [on Twitter].”