After a woeful absence from blogging, *so many people* sent me the news about how the Pope is tweeting that it begged to be written about. Here it is folks, from @News_va_en:
Though the Pope did apparently send *a* tweet, it doesn’t appear that he will be tweeting in any personal manner anytime soon.
It’s important to note the very real difference between the Pope tweeting once via News_va_en (an effort by the Vatican to leverage new media for communication, sharing, and outreach) versus frequently tweeting for himself.
The Tradeoffs of Personal Tweeting by Public Figures
When other intensely public figures–take US politicians for example–tweet as individuals, the feeling is different (that is, unless those figures actually have interns or PR people tweet “as them.”) The candor, spontaneity, and authenticity of the person can shine through and endear them to you.
On the other hand, they also expose themselves in new ways, becoming vulnerable and increasing public scrutiny, as we’ve also seen recently with the @RepWeiner incident and more recently as President Obama has started to tweet occasionally using @barackobama. His staff do most of the tweeting, but tweets from him will be signed -BO.
I am interested to watch how public figures–including religious leaders–will weigh this balance. How will they strengthen candor to connect with their community in authentic ways versus expose themselves to vulnerability.