It is fitting that, as the human person is a composite of the spiritual and the corporeal, the Church has presented the practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Examples of such works include Catholic classics like “feed the hungry” and “clothe the naked,” as well as “warn the sinner” and “counsel the doubtful.”
These were written at a time when only two parts of the person were known. Today, however, a third part of the person is emerging, a part which exists in cyberspace. Yes, there is the cyber part of the person, and that part must be taken care of, just as the spirit and the body are. Today, for the sake of your cyber-souls, I offer the cyber works of mercy, a collection of general moral practices for the cyber world.
Like the un-liked. All too often a person puts his heart and soul into a status only to have no one acknowledge the relevance of the status for their own lives. Are we so cold-hearted that legitimately relevant statuses are scrolled over without a second look? One “like” goes a long way to show one’s solidarity with his fellow man.
Tag the untagged. Out of all the pictures on Facebook with your friends’ faces in them, only a fraction has actually been tagged with their names. How can they be expected to remember what happened at that party over the weekend if no one tags them in the photos?
Flag the inappropriate. This should go without saying. When something sneaks through the filters of a site, one should immediately protect the cyber-souls of those around him and flag as inappropriate those things which are, in fact, inappropriate.
Share the unshared. Some articles and clever pictures do not receive the proper publicity that they deserve. If something depicts the truth, then you should spread that truth to your fellow men – all 753 of them.
Report the spammer. Too many times our friends click on links that say, “I can’t believe what he does next!” It seems that all we can do is place our palms upon our brows and ask, “Do I really have friends this stupid?” The best thing to do in these cases is to report such spam as soon as it appears on our news feed.
Admonish the troll. The focus of this cyber work is the conversion of the reasonable people who may believe the troll’s lies without challenging the validity of what the troll is preaching in the comments section. It should be remembered that trolls themselves are to be handled delicately, so that in a flame war one does not fall into the very folly he is fighting.
Finally, blog to the ignorant. If one has the ability, knowledge and determination in this day and age, he should consider it his duty to do so. Simply put, the new evangelization requires it.
Following these guidelines will better all of our cyber experiences by recalling to our minds that we are Christians who must love one another as ourselves, in body and in soul – and in cyber-soul.