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Pope Urges Less Social Media Use
By: Jessica Cherok
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The Pope wants you to put down your social media and make some real-world connections. In his recent visit to the United States, the religious leader said that social networks are contributing to a "radical loneliness."

In his speech at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Pope Francis said, "Today's culture seems to encourage people to not bond with anything or anyone," Francis said. "The most important thing today seems to be to follow the latest trend of activity, even at a religious level. Today consumerism determines what is important."

While the Pope is arguably one of the most followed figures on social media, he warns against people chasing online trends too much. People try so hard to stand out online, to be retweeted, or to go viral that they are actually missing out on important social bonds.

The Pope's words come after several recent studies finding that frequent social media use leads to high rates of depression, especially in teenagers. While some teens turn to find support online, but many more find cyberbulling and abuse.

Being too invested in one's online persona causes people to withdraw from important real world relationships, and thus end up feeling lonely. "Loneliness with fear of commitment in a limitless effort to feel recognized," said Pope Francis.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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