Book uses findings from 2018 Synod to propose social media as space of encounter

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Brazilian journalist Felipe Domingues was one of the participants in the Synod on Youth, which took place at the Vatican in 2018. He was there as an expert on social media use among young people. 

Now three years after the Synod, he has written a book exploring how people of all ages engage with social media, and ways to combat its harmful effects on society. 

Selflessness in the Age of Selfies is the result of years of research as well as listening to those who were raised in the age of social media. 

Author, “Selflessness in the Age of Selfies”
“I was also invited to the Synod itself, the Synod of Bishops, in 2018. So it was such a great experience that I thought I have to bring some of this to my research...And in the end I put everything together, the theoretical framework—what are the scholars saying about, first, the throwaway culture, the media and how the media are part of this culture, and then what young people say about this.”

Among his findings is how social media perpetuates what Pope Francis calls the “throwaway culture,” in which people are seen as disposable. 

Author, “Selflessness in the Age of Selfies'
'It starts to get into my mindset that things don't last, and this is just how the world is. And when that goes to the relationships it becomes a real problem, and that's what Pope Francis says, this culture wastes not only things, but also people.'

Domingues urges social media users to interact with others online with compassion in order to transform the internet from a place of conflict and division to one of encounter and unity. 

Author, “Selflessness in the Age of Selfies”
'In a culture of solidarity, or what I am calling media solidarity, we are able to see the other. We are able to see the one that is different, to meet that other person, to engage in dialogue...We have to see the other, we have to see the one who is different. The one with whom we share this global environment.”

By promoting media solidarity, Selflessness in the Age of Selfies seeks to change the way we engage with others online, and make the internet a safe place for people of all backgrounds to come together. 


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