Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pope joins Twitter under @Pontifex handle

This may be one more reason to get a free Twitter account, even if it is only to follow key Catholic sources... like the Pope!  Yes. His Holiness has officially joined Twitter under the handle, @Pontifex. He hasn't tweeted yet, as it indicates, but that is forthcoming on December 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

It was just released a little under 24 hours ago and he already has over 350,000 followers and climbing fast.

With Twitter, you can do a search by keyword or even by name.  When looking at a search of tweets made with @Pontifex by anyone, you can see that the Holy Father has his share of detractors (warning: some of it is vile).  I don't see him getting worked up over it.  If anything, by these attacks he knows that the Holy Spirit has come to rest on him! (1 Peter 4:14)

Jimmy Akin has a post explaining what Pontifex means and why the Holy Father may have chosen it.  I  myself saw it as a way to allow the account to continue through multiple popes rather than making people re-follow another pope by his personal name.  It seems Jimmy is of similar mind.

About that Twitter account you haven't made but are thinking about.  It's easy.  Just go to Twitter.com and follow the prompts.  Here is a set of instructions and tips from Twitter that you might find helpful.  You don't have to tweet or re-tweet (share) anything.  You can simply follow other accounts so their tweets show up in your stream.  You can even do this privately.  There is an area where you can see what anyone says about you through your Twitter handle.  You can reply, but it's often better to just ignore them.

You can easily block someone who is not friendly, or block followers who are following just to get you, and your followers to follow them.  Got that?  People fish for gullible types on Twitter who will follow them and click their links, some of which are suspicious.  Just don't click them.   I tend to go through my follower list and if I see inappropriate content in their feed, or if it looks like they are just trying to make sales and clicks, I block them.  One way to find other accounts to follow is to look at who others are following.

I like both Facebook and Twitter for different reasons, but I do like them both.

Twitter is where you catch news before it's news along with things that never make the news.  It's where you see what is happening now at a glance.  If it's really big news you will see it being tweeted and re-tweeted so that becomes a sort of intensity barometer.  I will check my Twitter feed a few times per day and if anything big is happening, it will show up there before it hits most networks.  If you follow a lot of Catholic sources, like I do, you will find great news and articles easily just by looking at what is being tweeted and re-tweeted among those you are following.  I follow mostly faithful sources, but I also follow some that aren't so faithful, if only to keep tabs on what they are pedaling. Twitter restricts characters to 140.  It allows for links, which are shortened.

Facebook allows for dialogue in a way that Twitter doesn't, but I find it less reliable in terms of finding out what is happening now.  You can reply to someone in Twitter, but it is very cumbersome to dialogue that way, with the character limit.  Things can get misunderstood.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

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