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The Pope v. Facebook

I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I tend toward curmudgeonly skepticism of new technologies. On the other hand, I also tend toward curmudgeonly skepticism of the Vatican.

Anyway, here's what Benedict XVI--who, it should be noted, just started his own YouTube channel--recently had to say about the perils of Facebook and other social-networking applications:

The concept of friendship has enjoyed a renewed prominence in the vocabulary of the new digital social networks that have emerged in the last few years. The concept is one of the noblest achievements of human culture. ... We should be careful, therefore, never to trivialise the concept or the experience of friendship. It would be sad if our desire to sustain and develop on-line friendships were to be at the cost of our availability to engage with our families, our neighbours and those we meet in the daily reality of our places of work, education and recreation. If the desire for virtual connectedness becomes obsessive, it may in fact function to isolate individuals from real social interaction while also disrupting the patterns of rest, silence and reflection that are necessary for healthy human development.

I kind of hate to say it, but I think he's got a point.

Via Boston.com's Articles of Faith.

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