The growth of Digital Media between two Papacies…

Pope and social media

Could not be better shown than these two photos (a mock up by Sarah Price here). Who is not online these days? This is also one of the reasons the gap between reality and perception is going to be so hard to reconcile.

The Catholic Church is only the most prominent, traditional and self evidently hierarchical of the world’s popular institutions. But what we are seeing here is a shifted perspective from the unilateral to the bi and ultimately multilateral (and I use the word tentatively) ‘multiverse’.

It does not give rise to the tensions Brian outlines in his excellent analysis here on the Slugger, but it exacerbates it.

It’s a ‘crisis’ coming to a popular institution somewhere near you soon… If the new Pope really is as humble as they say he is, he might be an intelligent first response to the problem… As my old mucker Johnnie Moore puts it (h/t John of ConversationLab):

This reminded me how much creativity can suffer when we play power games. And how much creative juice we can find when we create a more mindful and level playing field. When we manage to suspend our egos, get into a zone of not-knowing, we can get a kind of emergent intelligence bigger than the sum of our parts.

It’s that zone of ‘not knowing’ that’s so difficult for institutions used to projecting power and authority that’s so tough for them to embrace. The trouble is that if they don’t learn to embrace it, they may not last the course…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty