She estimates that “as many as 2.5 million pilgrims” could make their way to Krakow in July, and that social media will be a primary way for the youth to share memories and special moments with friends and family.
However, Black also noted that there are many youth who will not be able to make it to the encounter, so social media “is the perfect way not just to inform them about what is happening here but to include them in the dialogue and the experience.”
“We also hope that social media will help us to spread the message of WYD and of Pope Francis, his message of mercy, to those who many not have otherwise known about our event,” she said.
For his part, Huguenin explained that the international media team will be keeping an eye out for anything published on the Pope Francis’ own social media accounts, in order to promote how the Pope himself “talks with young people in the digital world.”
“We will share all messages about WYD and create content inspired by that,” he said, and told those following the coverage to keep an eye out for the hashtag “#krakow2016,” which is the official tag being used by the WYD communications team.
In terms of using social media as a means of evangelization, Fr. Spadaro said that rather than being an “instrument,” the networks actually build their own digital “environment.”
“The network is not an instrument to use for an end, but a life environment in which one’s own reflections, images of one’s life, dialogue between people, are shared,” he said, noting that these can be used for both good and bad purposes.
“So we need to go out from the mentality of the use of social networks and enter that of living evangelically the digital environment…I think that the Church is called to be there where the people are: today people are on social media so the Church is called to be on social media and not to use it.”