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The bond of connectivity is better built and strengthened through human community network and positively impactful than the social networks which are agents of virtual community and tend to promote isolation and spread of falsehood as a result of lack of central control, among other challenges, Rev. Fr. Chris Anyanwu, Director of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) Durumi, Abuja,  has declared.

The CSN Director posited this remark in his reflection on the 2019 World Communications Day Message of the Holy Father Pope Francis, during the celebration of the day by the Universal Church, last Sunday. The theme of the Holy Father’s message was: We are Members one of another (Eph 4: 25) From network community to human communities

According to Fr. Anyanwu, who is also the Deputy Secretary General of the Secretariat, the Internet and social networks do not constitute a veritable alternative to human community in terms of effective and efficient communication for the promotion of love, justice and equity. He noted that without undermining  the importance of social network communities through modern media technologies, human communication is still the best alternative to building and ideal relationship and human community.

Speaking extensively on the message of the Pope, Fr. Anyanwu gave a comparative analysis of the efficiency and effectiveness of the human communication network and the web technology network. His words: “We live in an era of internet and many social networks have been creatively developed not only to make communications easier but strengthen human relationship and human community.” He however wondered if the use of the net and social networks today promote human relations community or help destroy it.

He added: “For Pope Francis, the net is indeed a veritable resource of our time. Through it, we are able to connect people more easily especially those who probably lost their contacts many years ago. ….. They represent an extraordinary possibility of access to knowledge” Fr. Anyanwu however noted that these modern information technologies, according to the Holy Father cannot replace communal human relationship which is the best form of communication for the benefit of the common good of humanity.

The CSN Director of Communications went on to outline the why the social networks can never be alternative to human community; noting among others that: “The social networks, oftentimes lend themselves to the manipulation of personal data aimed at obtaining political or economic advantages, without due respect for the person and his or her rights

He further stated that some social networks entrap people especially the youths; bring about self-isolation; adding: “This dramatic situation reveals a serious rupture in the relational fabric of society, one that ought not to be ignored.” He added: “Social networks in many ways have proven to be one of the areas most exposed to fake news, misinformation and to the conscious and targeted  distortion of facts and interpersonal relationships, which are often used to discredit people.”

Stressing the importance of building a human community, Fr. Anayanwu remarked that Pope Francis understands that our society is yearning for a better human community where honesty and trust and truth must prevail. He pointed out that human community, in the context of the Pope’s message emphasizes collaboration in addressing challenges. His words: “A true human community is one that pursues common objectives and is made stronger, through cohesiveness and supportiveness, as well as animated by feelings of trust.

The CSN Deputy Secretary General who spoke extensively on the role of journalists and media practitioners in effecting the realization of the objectives of Pope Francis in the promotion of human community communication network as a better alternative to web or internet network community concluded: “We must make a commitment today to the building of a human community that takes human relationships more seriously; stressing: “Such a community propels us not only to communicate, but also to welcome and understand the gift of the other person.”



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