Pope warns young people against wasting time online

6 Aug 2014

Pope Francis pictured in St Peter's Square, the Vatican, in January 2014 (via giulio napolitano Shutterstock)

Pope Francis has publicly lamented youth’s obsession with technological instruments of distraction and advises young people to not to waste so much time on the web and smartphones.

The Pope directed his comments to 50,000 young German altar servers, who had made a pilgrimage to Rome for the privilege of a speech from El Papa, Reuters reports.

The 77-year-old leader of the Catholic Church said that life and time, being a gift from God, should be spent on “good and fruitful actions”. To clarify what is good and fruitful, Pope Francis listed off some futile activities, such as “chatting on the internet or with smartphones, watching TV soap operas, and [using] the products of technological progress, which should simplify and improve the quality of life, but distract attention away from what is really important.”

The Pope himself is no stranger to modern technology and tweets in nine different languages to about 15m followers through the Twitter handle @pontifex. Though he has previously described the internet as “a gift from God”, he now recommends a good dose of calm, reflection and tenderness to ensure it is “a network not of wires, but of people.”

Pope Francis image via giulio napolitano/Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.