One of the cardinal virtues is prudence. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ccc1806; ‘Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; “the prudent man looks where he is going.”65 “Keep sane and sober for your prayers.”66 Prudence is “right reason in action,” writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle.67’ In short, prudence helps us to do the next right thing.
So why is prudence important with our social media? We can all agree that social media can have a huge impact on our lives, often times this can be for the good or for the bad. When using social media we should comment and post according to our conscience and ensure we are imitating Christ in everything we do.
With social media nothing is private, everything is seen and visible. Therefore, our social media profiles are not just a representation of who we are but it should also show that we are representative of Jesus and his Church. As St Teresa of Avila stated, “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
Some key questions to ask before you post:
- Am I imitating Christ by this particular post or comment or picture?
- What am I trying to achieve with a particular post? Does this reflect my Catholic values?
- As social media is a public sphere, regardless if your account is private, am I happy with people knowing this information that I am sharing?
It is always good to do a holy pause before you post and think about what you are posting and what you are trying to achieve. Does what I post reflect who I am as a daughter or son of God? Social media can be a force for good and it can help reach others with the message of God’s love and mercy.