Pope Benedict Blesses Netiquette

Pope Benedict XVI

Netiquette made the news this week in a big way as Pope Benedict XVI officially embraced netiquette and encouraged Christians to participate positively in social networking sites.

The 83-year old Pontiff’s message for the Catholic Church’s World Day of Communications included one of my Top 10 Rules of Netiquette — the Authenticity Rule.

The Pope spoke about the perils of social networking including “enclosing oneself in a sort of parallel existence, or excessive exposure to the virtual world.” He balanced his message by saying, “In the search for sharing, for ‘friends,’ there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself.”

The Pope does not have a direct relationship with social networking sites, nor does he have a Facebook page or Twitter account as of yet, but it’s clear that Internet etiquette is a concern from one of the world’s most important leaders. The Vatican’s YouTube Channel has been viewed over 2.8 million times.

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