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25 January, 2012

I LIKE POPE'S "SLOW DOWN" MESSAGE

I was particularly interested in an Associated Press story this morning out of Vatican City, indicating that Pope Benedict XVI is asking everyone to quiet down, even going so far sometimes as to tune out social media chatter.

In his annual communications message released Tuesday, Benedict extolled the sounds of silence.  He said a little bit of quiet makes people better listeners and better communicators by giving them time to think about what they are hearing and saying.  In a world inundated by tweets and 24-hour news coverage, that precious time to reflect gives words greater value, he added.

"Joy, anxiety and suffering can all be communicated in silence; indeed, it provides them with a particularly powerful mode of expression," he explained in a written message.

The Pope has in recent years used his annual communications message to comment on social media.  He urged priests to blog and Catholics who spread the faith on Facebook and other social networks, to be respectful of others.

This year, he turned his attention to the need to occasionally tune out information overload from social media to allow time for greater reflection.  He called for striking a balance between silence, words, images and sounds.

The 84-year-old Benedict is obviously in tune with the times and sensitive to the downside of addictive electronic communications.  This is one Protestant who will be following his advice.  I plan to slow down considerably and will definitely extend my previously-announced inspiration-fishing expedition.  This may come as a relief to certain Facebook and virtual history friends.

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