It was established last year by Fr. Gildasio Mendes, SDB, General Councillor for Social Communications, to provide updating and formation to SocCom teams . The first phase consisted of speakers and resource persons from the Generalate in Rome. In this second phase, Social Communications experts from the EAO region share their knowledge and skills.
At this first session, Fr. Albeiro Rodas, SDB, SocCom Delegate - Cambodia, presented his session entitled "Basic Digital Skills Training and Development for Salesian Animators". He shared with over 60 online participants the practical issues regarding Netiquette. Netiquette is the portmanteau of Network and Etiquette, which means the proper behavior required while on the internet.
Fr. Rodas stressed the need for us to humanize the internet again. The lack of personal and physical communication cues should not distract us from the fact that at the other side of our screens is another human being.
Participants came from all the member circumscriptions in the EAO region. This phase saw the inclusion of more members from the Salesian Family and more young people.
"The moment we enter the internet, nothing is private," Fr. Rodas said. Privacy, use of information, and human values in the internet were the core issues as he led the discussion towards Online Ethics. The participants then broke out into small groups to discuss a survey that tackled these issues.
Fr. Rodas also talked about collaboration and tools in the internet. He touched on the topic of how online communication can complement but not replace personal, face-to-face communication. He cautioned Salesians, animators, and young people to put down the phones when in conversation with others and especially young people. “Don’t forget the positive impact you can make by putting down your phone and having a real, face-to-face conversation”, he said. He also reminded us to avoid large files that clog up the internet and to do a fact check before reposting and forwarding images, clips, and videos.
This is but the first of a year-long series of online sessions on Social Communications. The next session will be held on the 17th March to feature the sharing of Fr. Dominic Quang Hien, SDB of Vietnam-North, on the topic "Catechesis in the Digital Age: From Transmission to Sharing". Salesians, members of the Salesian family and young people are welcome to coordinate with your Social Communications delegate to join the sessions.
Fr. Keith Amodia SDB, FIS SocCom