Even the Pope’s Got an iPOD

I co-presented a workshop at the 2009 National Catholic Media Congress in Sydney called ‘Even the Pope’s got an iPOD’. It was a great opportunity for our Church community to gather, discuss and explore how new media and social technologies can be used as a medium for evangelisation.

Time_1984What was fascinating was that the last Catholic Media Congress was held 25 years ago! The cultural and social context has changed dramatically but none more so than the technological change, which has undoubtedly influenced the way we work, live and communicate. Just have a look at the Time Magazine Cover from August 1984 (right).

Would today’s learners know what a floppy disk was? We live in extraordinary times when innovation is now driving demand (Apple had sold 100 million iPods in 2007 and possibly 10 million iPhones). It’s all about smaller, faster and lighter.

I began my workshop by giving a quick introduction into social technologies and the rapid rise of virtual communities/tribes. Blogs promote individual comment on topics of common interest whereas now we are seeing the proliferation of sites Twine and Epicurious that are building communities of common interest (see John Connell’s post on a Canadian study on Internet and social isolation).

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto with an iPOD Touch
Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto and Archbishop Wilson with an iPOD Touch

While the workshop provided participants an opportunity to learn more about and experiment with new technologies, it raises the important question of how the Church can use social technologies to engage the Catholic tribe in spreading the Good News. A very concrete way of responding to “the signs of the times.”

And by all accounts, our participants enjoyed playing with iPODs – perhaps a new generation of technology converts!

One thought on “Even the Pope’s Got an iPOD

  1. My personal opinion is that it’s a sad day when any faith-based organization has to use devises, blogs and general technologies to spread the word.

    Socialization is not about how quickly you can talk to another person; it’s about leaving an impression that people react too therefore becoming the catalyst for social interaction. I understand that there may be a time when one liners and catch phrases replaces deep thought and conversation which may be a necessary evil, but if the world is only about communication, what happens to serenity?

    I guess – perhaps, I’ve sinned because; I’m using this media to share my idea against it. Oh well, so much for progressive thinking!

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