Sunday, December 30, 2012

That instant connection

New form of media opens doors to friendships, negativity

By Lajuan Kerr Tallo

’ve been thinking a lot lately about how social media has become such a normal part of our lives. Every day when I wake up, I check to see what my friends are saying and doing. It is kind of awesome that you can connect with people instantly. The presidential election, the recent tragedy in Connecticut, the Christmas season and the upcoming New Year celebrations have been the conversation for the past few weeks.

It gave me cause to really think about social media and how it has changed us. I wonder how many of us have reacted in the wrong way to some innocent posting? Maybe something someone said caused us to fire back because we took it personally. I have seen people get into deep religious and political “arguments” on Facebook and Twitter that really could be disturbing if you let it get to you. I’ve seen people air their dirty laundry through divorces, unwed mothers trashing their “Baby Daddys,” rival sports fans posting horrible things about each other to the point of calling each other out for fights, and I could go on and on.

Along with the negatives come some positives too. I have met so many good people online. I belong to a few Catholic groups that share thoughts, prayers and discussions. I have made countless friends because of The Catholic Guy Show, a talk show on The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM. I have never laid eyes on any of the folks in these two areas of my social media life, but they mean more to me than I can say. They come from all over the USA and Canada, and even as far away as Australia and Africa. Many of them are priests. What they have taught me is that ours is truly the universal church.

 While living in the social media world has opened up avenues of new ways of communication and developed friendships for me, it has also taught me that we have a profound responsibility online to be a light to others. There is so much negativity, I feel like I am being called to be positive. I guess it goes back to what we as Catholics are called to do - to be Christ to others.

I resolve to be that light to others if I can. I want to share good and positive thoughts, make a few jokes and enjoy visits with my friends and family. Most of all, I want to share my Catholic faith by showing the joy that the Lord has brought to me.

 As Deacon Kevin McGoldrick said, “Take nothing seriously, except for God; and even then remember, He has a sense of humor too.”


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