So the Pope's tweeting, but do we really want ethical advice in 140 characters?

It may take time for His Holiness to loosen up online

Share

“Finally!” I cried last week on hearing the news, “the Pope’s on Twitter!” I had been wondering how long it would take His Holiness to succumb.

And I'd been so excited for today’s first tweet. "What will he say?" I asked myself, fists excitedly clenched. "Why do I care?" I secondarily mused. 

I reasoned that, though I am not a Catholic, I enjoy novelty amalgamations - and old people and technology are one of these.

As it was, I was a little disappointed with his entrance: “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter.” This is fine, I suppose… although in future he might do well to become a little more nonchalant: "Does anyone have a good mechanic? : ( #flattyre #pmob” , for example.  Or,“Just spilt some milk #robechange”. No question, Some day-to-day stuff would help ease everyone in to such a divine online presence.

Perhaps the closer we get to Christmas the better the tweets will be. Ideally, we'd be privy to some insider stuff on Christmas day, say an Instagram of the turkey, a little heat from the kitchen – “forgot the Nigella seeds #fml”.

What does he eat? What does he watch? How often does he bathe? My anticipation is growing by the day.

The last time I came close to papal insight was a couple of years ago, when I was in the market for a new wall calendar and stumbled across Pope Benedict Official 2011. This proved a disappointment, though. There were no beach shots, no holiday wear, no black and white snaps that screamed: "What a long day in the saddle on this Western ranch, let me throw some water from a nearby bucket on my face". Just: "Pope hat on – side profile"; "Pope hat off – back of head".  Needless to say, this didn't satisfy my quest for exclusive insight.

I do wonder, however, whether Twitter is the right outlet for the head of the Catholic Church. Don’t get me wrong – a lot can be said in 140 characters, sure, but it seems like a bit of a free-for-all arena.

What if he gets trolled? He may be the Pope, but he is also an old man, and that immediately makes one lean towards sympathy.

It also seems a bit weird to me that the Pope’s messages might one day be trending alongside other celebrity tweeters, like superstar rapper 50 Cent. (Sample quote: "After the movie I went to see my b*tch shana cause she gives me free food. She work at the drive thru over at mc donalds and sh*t.")

What I’m trying to say is, I don’t know if Twitter is the place for profound. 50 Cent is an unusual human, true, but out of the two extremes, I’d be more inclined to head to Twitter for that. Personally, I would never look there for ethical advice - religious or not.

And I don't mean to ridicule the Pope, only the use of the Internet in this context. Surely there are better ways of modernising the Church than this.

Maybe I’ll be proved wrong and the whole thing will be a great success – either way I remain just as excited to see what he says over the next few weeks, holding out my (possibly) over-optimistic hope that he gives us a running commentary on the success of his tree decorations. We’ll just have to wait and see.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operations & Logistics Manager

£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...

Recruitment Genius: GeoDatabase Specialist - Hazard Modelling

£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...

Recruitment Genius: Compressed Air Pipework Installation Engineer

£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Coordinator - Pallet Network

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Political Editor: With 100 days still to go how will Cameron, Miliband and Co. keep us all engaged?

Andrew Grice
A solar energy farm in France  

Nature Studies: For all the attractions of solar power, it shouldn’t blight the countryside

Michael McCarthy
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea