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

Drama Teacher - Hull and Grimsby

Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: The JobRandstad are currently in need of ...

Reception Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is the UK mark...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant We are curr...

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Day In a Page

 

Ed Miliband's conference speech must show Labour has a head as well as a heart

Patrick Diamond
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments