Pope praises social networking sites

It's got 15,724 regular subscribers. That particular YouTube channel has been viewed 1,046,646 times. But this YouTube channel isn't dedicated to some pop culture sensation, it's the Vatican channel, which Pope Benedict XVI launched in January.

It's an interesting usage of the media. We always complain about how terrible the media is for us; especially when criticizing its portrayal of women and their bodies. Or, we complain about how useless it is. I love Twitter like anyone else, but I have to admit, it's really not necessary to describe the egg salad sandwich I'm eating for lunch in 140 characters or less. It's also stalker-like and completely invading our privacy - although for social networking sites like facebook, myspace and the like, we're the ones who choose what content we post as well as any security settings (or lack thereof), so it makes me a little frustrated when people refuse to regulate their content and then proceed to feel violated.

Aside from the fact that any messages Pope Benedict XVI sends out are going to be morally sound, it's amazing to think of how far that Vatican has come in the past 2,000 years. It's an institution that's known for being very set in its ways but even the Pope has realized that perhaps the only way to truly connect to Catholics worldwide is to adjust to the modern age. He's on facebook, too - you can log on right now and become a fan of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, along with 42,807 other users.

I'm not Catholic myself, but when I first heard about the YouTube channel back in January, I happened to mention it to a Catholic friend of mine who hadn't heard about it, but was excited to check it out, much more than I expected.

It amazes me how creative people are in discovering new uses for the internet. Pope Benedict XVI can consider the "I like" thumbs up button on his facebook page pushed.

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