Cloistered nuns in the Catholic religion are supposed to live a life of contemplation and service. But they may be getting distracted by too many tweets, snaps, and other modern manifestations of social media.
So in new guidance from the Vatican, nuns are urged to use “sobriety and discretion” when indulging in social media. The lengthy document contains all manner of restrictions and rules, with a short, new section covering social media usage.
“The legislation concerning the means of social communication, in all the variety in which it is presented today, aims at safeguarding recollection and silence: in fact, it is possible to empty contemplative silence when the cloister is filled with noises, news, and words,” the Vatican document states.
Social media usage focusing on “reasons of information, formation or work, can be allowed in the monastery, with prudent discernment, for common utility,” the Vatican stated.
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The Catholic Church may be thousands of years old, but the organization has been successful in embracing new social media services like Twitter (TWTR) so far. Pope Francis is a prolific tweeter, with almost 18 million followers on the service. His tweets have been viewed over 3.5 billion times in the past six months and retweeted almost 10 million times, according to analytics service SocialBearing.
But a few weeks ago, a group of cloistered nuns in Spain drew global attention over a Facebook (FB) post protesting a verdict finding five men not guilty of rape for a sexual assault of a teenager in 2016.
The problem of excessive usage of social media is hardly limited to cloistered nuns. Even Google and Apple have recently conceded that too much smartphone app usage can be detrimental to users’ happiness.