Christians and Social Media, Facebook, Twitter: Pope Francis Warns Youth About 'False Image of Reality'

Pope Francis defended millennials from the criticisms that older generations pile upon them and warned the youth to resist social media's "false image of reality."

Millennials are often subjected to negative stereotypes and labels from their elders — such as being weak, self-absorbed and lazy. Pope Francis contradicted these notions.

"Many people say that young people are distracted and superficial," the pontiff said in his March 21 address for the diocesan World Youth Day. "They are wrong!"

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However, while Pope Francis disagreed with the general assumptions, he also reminded millennials of the dangers of social media and its impact on their lives. The pontiff referenced how young people would post any number of images, questioning the authenticity and meaning of the publicized pictures.

"We don't know how much of all this is really 'history', an experience that can be communicated and endowed with purpose and meaning," Pope Francis said.

He described how reality shows exhibit characters who are living "without a greater plan." He appealed to the youth to not be deceived by this false image of reality.

"Be the protagonists of your history; decide your own future," the pontiff told millennials.

Pope Francis stressed the difference between simply having a past and having a history. He described how everyone has a lot of memories in life but not all of them are really part of their memories. The pontiff questioned how memories are really significant to a person's heart and life.

Pope Francis also urged the youth to make memories and spend more time with their older family members — such as their parents and grandparents — to add meaning to their lives. He recommended keeping a spiritual journal to express and record their gratitude and regrets.

The pontiff also reminded the older generation's need to "reflect on our lives and direct them towards the future."

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