New computer technologies pose dangers, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI warned young people of some of the dangers provoked by new computer technologies. Today’s younger generations are exposed to “a twofold risk caused primarily by the spread of new information technologies,” he told some 1,200 students and professors from the University of Parma, Italy, during an audience at the Vatican. On the one hand, users of information technology can run the risk of “a growing reduction in their ability to concentrate” and to use the new information in their own lives, he said in his speech Dec. 1. On the other hand, they also face the danger of “isolating themselves in an increasingly virtual reality,” he added. While one’s social community can become “dispersed into a thousand fragments,” the individual may become more self-centered and tend “to close oneself off to constructive relations with others and those who are different from oneself,” he said.

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