“We are members one of another” (Eph 4,25). From network community to human communities. This is the theme chosen by the Holy Father Francis for the 53rd World Communications Day, to be held in 2019. The theme underlines the importance of giving back to communication a broad perspective, based on the person, and emphasizes the value of interaction always understood as dialogue and as an opportunity to meet with others.
This calls for a reflection on the current state and nature of relationships on the Internet, starting from the idea of community as a network between people in their wholeness. Some of the prevailing trends of the so-called social networks ask us a fundamental question: to what extent can we speak of a real community in the face of the logic that characterizes some communities on social media? The metaphor of the web as a community of solidarity implies the construction of an “us”, based on listening to the other, on dialogue and consequently on the responsible use of language.
In his first Message for World Communications Day in 2014, Holy Father Pope Francis called for the Internet to be “an environment rich in humanity, a network not of wires but of people”.