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

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

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month  

General Election 2015: Politics is the messy art of compromise, unpopular as it may be

David Blunkett
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012  

Vote Tory and you’re voting for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer

Mark Steel
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'