CCCB Pastoral Letter on the Use of Social Media

CCCB Pastoral Letter on the Use of Social Media - 7 Commitments We Can Make Together!
Posted on 05/22/2024
The Canadian Bishops believe that the moment is ripe to consider what we might do together as Canadian Catholics to advocate for a healthier online environment that serves the common good. So, the Bishops invite us to make 7 commitments showing our core Christian values and help build a healthy online environment that serves the common good.

Every Wednesday for the next several weeks, we will be outlining one of the seven commitments on our NPSC socials, school Edsby pages, and on this page of the NPSC website.

Read the full Pastoral Letter from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Use of Social Media here

First Commitment: We commit to CHECK FOR ACCURACY 
“As Christians, our commitment to truth necessarily implies a commitment to accuracy. We should never use social media with the intent to manipulate, to deceive others, or to tarnish someone’s reputation.” 

 Check for Accuracy!

Second Commitment: We commit to SEEK GREATER PERSPECTIVE 
Pope Francis reminds us that part of “the difficulty of unmasking and eliminating fake news is due […] to the fact that many people interact in homogeneous digital environments impervious to differing perspectives and opinions.” 

Seek Greater Perspective

Third Commitment: We commit to VALUE HUMAN DIGNITY
We challenge social media users to avoid all ad hominem comments in which persons are attacked rather than their ideas confronted. We challenge users not to post online any comment that they would not be willing to say to the other person face to face with fellow Christians present.

 Third Commitment: VALUE HUMAN DIGNITY

Should we decide to enter into a conversation with another online, we can then start from a stance of curiosity. Whatever we post in response should seek to open dialogue rather than close it by simply trading debate points.


One of the most helpful things that we as Christians can do in the online world is distinguish between intention and impact, realizing that it is possible to simultaneously mean well and still cause harm, just as it is possible for us to be hurt and for the other person not to have intended our hurt.


Sixth Commitment: We commit to PRIVILEGE "IRL" ENCOUNTERS
We must also be attentive to the impact of our online time on the rest of our lives, especially our relationships with those we meet IRL (in real life). Social media can be a powerful way of making new connections and nurturing old ones, but it can never be an end in itself. It should enrich, not diminish, face-to-face encounter.


Seventh Commitment: We commit to TEND TO OUR TIME SPENT ONLINE
Given the average global human life span of 73.4 years, with the average global social media user engaging for 147 minutes per day, at present each of us will spend an estimated six years and eight months of our lives on social media, in contrast to three years and seven months spent eating and drinking.