Re-Visiting: Advantages and Disadvantages for Using Social Media

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on October 20, 2015

in Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, social media

47 WCD 4On February 28, 2011, I posted an article in which I described the Advantages and Disadvantages to Catholic Groups Using Social Media Websites. I was curious when I discovered that the article has been viewed nearly 600 times since then. So I re-read it and thought it might be good to write a follow-up.

The social media world has been growig at a rapid rate. For example, Facebook had 5.5 million users in 2005. Today it has 1.44 billion.

The graph below represents growth in the use of social media over the last ten years.  According to a study by the Pew Research Center 10% of Internet Users in 2005 were on at least one social network and now in 2015 the number has grown to  76%.

Pope Benedict XVI understood the importance of the digital world and he wrote about using it for preaching the Gospel and teaching the faith in his World Communication Day messages. He was the first Pope on Twitter. Pope Francis continued tweeting @Pontifex when he was elected and has continued to promote the use of the “digital highway” for missionary activity. Here are highlights from Pope Francis’ 2014 World Communications Day message:


In 2011, I wrote about the advantages of being on social media.  Today, I will give three reasons for being on social media:

  1. The use of social media provides the Church with new channels to communicate with members, active and inactive.
  2. The use of social media makes the Church, our Faith and our love of Jesus Christ accessible to people who are looking for a spiritual home, a belief system, a savior.  It makes us available to seekers.
  3. Social media is where many people are today.  As disciples of Jesus, we need to be there with them.

How has your understanding and use of social media for mission changed in the last five to ten years?  Please share your story below.

If you want to read the article I wrote in 2011, click on the title here: The Advantages/Disadvantages to Catholic Groups Using Social Media Websites.

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