CNS (Catholic News Service) published some of the findings of a diocesan survey regarding use of Social Media – Survey says dioceses getting the hang of new media, but slowly.
While the article puts a moderately positive spin on the results, citizens of the new ‘Digital Continent’ might see things a bit differently.
Right off the top, here is a significant cause for concern…emphasis mine.
The increase in media awareness is at least evident in those dioceses who responded to the survey. Of 189 U.S. diocesan communications offices surveyed, 89 returned the questionnaire.
Greater than 50% of the dioceses didn’t even respond. Then, are we to assume…
- Those diocesan communications offices do not actually exist or have staff?
- If they do, they do not have any interest in social media?
Or, are they too busy? Personally, I think #2 is the most likely answer.
The rest of the survey findings indicate limited – but seemingly growing – use of social media.
EVERY diocese should have a Twitter account and a Facebook page.
That should be the goal. To be sure, it’s not a lofty one, but it’s the bare minimum to be able to say that the Church is interested in engaging the culture through one of it’s most important (and fastest growing) mediums of communication. For those concerned about needing necessary resources and training, only 15 minutes is needed per day to use and monitor them, and it will take less time to train someone than it would a phone switchboard.
The USCCB has published guidelines on the implementation of social media. It’s time to step up to the plate and put these into practice.
To even casual observers, the Church is significantly behind the times in this arena, but this should not dissuade us from the work at hand. Rather, it should motivate us. With Faith and Hope in Jesus Christ, He will provide us the tools necessary for this great work of evangelization, just as He has raised prophets and saints in every generation and throughout history.
Let the work begin.