PHILADELPHIA -- Facebook "friends" aren't real friends, according to Pope Francis.
In a speech to American bishops on Sunday morning at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Francis said there "are no longer close personal relationships" and that today's culture "seems to encourage people not to bond with anything or anyone, not to trust." Following the latest trend seems to be the most important thing, he said.
"I would say that at the root of so many contemporary situations is a kind of impoverishment born of a widespread and radical sense of loneliness. Running after the latest fad, accumulating 'friends' on one of the social networks, we get caught up in what contemporary society has to offer. Loneliness with fear of commitment in a limitless effort to feel recognized," Francis told the Catholic bishops.
Francis said today's consumption culture "does not favor bonding" and that social bonds have become "a mere 'means' for the satisfaction of 'my needs.'"
Francis is on Twitter, where he has about 7.4 million followers, but has not joined Facebook because Vatican officials are reportedly worried about dealing with abusive comments.
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