Everything about us communicates. Not only the way we speak or express ourselves, but also our way of dressing, our gestures, our way of reacting to every situation. We can use these signs to tell in a non-verbal way how we feel, to transmit an emotion, to cause an effect on our interlocutor, but also to determine how the other person feels.
We are social. We are communitarian. And we need to be close to others. To feel that we are part of a group. And to do that we need to communicate. But how do we reach out to hearts when conversations are "out of date"? In a world in which deep texts are no longer read, in which speed is part of everyday life, in which people's success is based on the number of social relationships. Shouldn't we be present in that digital environment so that we can relate to them? As Pope Francis said at Synod 2018, "Young people ask for authenticity and when they find it in our saints, like Saint Marie-Eugénie, in our smile, our dedication, our joy and our effort to be family, "then they question themselves, set out and decide to take their lives into their own hands.
Only with social networks can they be reached. Not only to young people, but to more and more people who use them every day. Only in this way will we speak their language and be present in their scale of priorities and in their real life, even if it is digital; being aware that we will be sowing sometimes in barren land and sometimes in fertile soil, where one day it will bear fruit.
Only by being present in the analog world will we be able to establish a digital community with feelings based on trust. Listening to their concerns in order to be able to dialogue with them without staying on the surface but rather going deeper and giving them answers that they will not find anywhere else.
Existential worries, restlessness, grief, sadness... very human states and emotions that we all go through and of which there is overinformation on the net but that without faith and support it is difficult to overcome.
Isn't it being now, in the time of the covid19, a tool for everyone? Contact between families and communities, a source of resources and inspiration, a way of working for many people who have to stay at home to stop the spread of the virus. The Internet and social networks are being a salvation for jobs and conversations, so that everything continues to work. It brings everyone together, even if we are all locked in.
"We are called to be "the digital Apostle Paul" of the third millennium," Francis tells us. We must be present in this environment. Not only to give an example of our lives, but also to approach and evangelize those who are far away.
Through social networks we can reach many people. We can observe how more and more religious are present and become authentic influencers who promote a way of thinking that is religious but close to the laity and those who are far away.
We must be present to use them as a resource for communion, to bring us closer to experiences far from our life, to rediscover the beauty of our union with others, to encourage encounter. We must use them not as an end, but as a resource. Avoiding doing so exclusively for our benefit or as a source of information. Trying not to remain isolated from our environment. Through social networks, we must convince, especially young people, to get involved in our communities and missions.
Perhaps one day we can move from the isolation and selfishness promoted by current values to a social openness, move from speaking through the Internet to speaking "live", move from a digital culture to a culture of encounter; and, as the Pope says, move from "like" to "amen".
Almudena de la Torre