"By virtue of our being created in the image and likeness of God who is communion and communication-of-Self, we carry forever in our hearts the longing for living in communion, for belonging to a community," he said.
"Social network communities are not automatically synonymous with community," Pope Francis said.
Among the challenges in the current communications context, is increasing isolation, the pope explained.
The internet provides "an opportunity to promote encounter with others, but it can also increase our self-isolation, like a web that can entrap us," he said.
Young people are particularly prone to "the illusion" that social media will "completely satisfy them on a relational level," the pope warned.
Pope Francis called on Catholics to "invest in relationships" and cultivate community, utilizing online social networks as a resource.
Social media needs to remain "a resource for communion," he said. "If a Church community coordinates its activity through the network, and then celebrates the Eucharist together, then it is a resource."
The pope's message was released on the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists. Pope Francis again warned this year against the dangers of "disinformation" in internet communication, in addition to "an extraordinary possibility of access to knowledge" found online.
This year the 53rd World Day of Social Communications will take place on the feast of the Ascension of the Lord on June 2. It is the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council in the 1963 document "Inter Mirifica."
The responsibility of using social media with charity falls on each individual, Pope Francis explained.
"While governments seek legal ways to regulate the web and to protect the original vision of a free, open and secure network, we all have the possibility and the responsibility to promote its positive use," he said.
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