28 September 2020
28 Sep 2020

Challenges in the use of social networks

The Conference of Religious of Venezuela (CONVER) has recently created a commission for the care and prevention of abuse in the Church. The internet and social networks offer us multiple benefits. On the other hand, there are also many challenges to which we are exposed, such as the diversity of content and the ease of access to it

by  Manuel Lagos, scj

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The Conference of Religious of Venezuela (CONVER) has recently created a commission for the care and prevention of abuses in the Church, to encourage a culture of good treatment and protection in the ecclesial and social environments. Through videos and online materials, it seeks to raise awareness in society about the prevention of abuse of any kind. On this occasion, we are invited to become aware of the use of the media and social networks.

We live in a culture of hyper-connectedness, especially in our days, when confinement has forced us to start working, studying and having fun from home. Technology has become a fundamental means to be able to function. But as a medium, it is neither good nor bad, but depends on the use we make of it.

The internet and social networks offer us multiple benefits, it allows us access to information almost immediately; they are democratic media, in which everyone can express their opinion; they are means of participation and facilitate communication and help us to increase our knowledge.

On the other hand, there are also many challenges to which we are exposed, such as the diversity of content and the ease of access to it. Inappropriate content in the hands of children can disfigure their education. The excess of information can be a source of stress and increase our anxiety. Another challenge is the network of contacts we establish, especially those contacts that young people and children have in their social networks, it is necessary to know the type of relationships they establish online, to prevent communication with any type of abuser.

  1. Some suggestions may help the family manage the use of media:
  2. Accompany the navigation of the children in Internet with rules that regulate the exercise of the freedom.
  3. Use the security filters and the control of the contents, so that they go according to the education that we want to impart in our family.
  4. Preventing minors from using social networks indiscriminately.
  5. Maintain an attitude of maximum alert.
  6. Encourage creative capacity.

In short, the advantages of screens and digital environments are that they entertain us, educate us, and allow us to have a kind of interaction and entertainment pedagogy. The risk of them can be consumerism and violence, the formation of social schemes often harmful. Screens can spread sexual stereotypes, create false idols through anti-values, as well as distort the affective world through fiction.  It is therefore essential to train ourselves, be critical and improve the teaching that prohibits and in turn educates the heart of the person.

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