Imagination and Reflection in Modern Communication

QUESTION 1: To Fr. Nicolas, imagination requires going to the depths of reality and recreating (re-imagining) it. Do social media and instant communication pose obstacles to such reflection and serious thinking? How can college students practice serious reflection in our always connected and instantaneous world?

The advances of modern technology and social media are effective tools, allowing for immediate access and mass communication while fostering human imagination. Fr. Adolfo Nicolas purported one of the central tenants of Jesuit education: imagination grasps both the reality and introspective thought, which he characterized as “a refusal to let go until we get beneath the surface”. Fr. Nicolas worried that the invents of modern society would impede a flourishing imagination, self-reflection, and serious thinking. In a world flooded by mass communication systems such as the television, the Internet, the news, the radio, magazines, books, and other mediums, how can imagination exist when things are explicitly portrayed rather than experienced in reality?

Inadvertently, the widespread exposure to social media and instant communication has allowed convenience and accessibility to concepts and places that would otherwise be unknown of. The transmission of information through media and communication, a practice that modern society has adopted, is very powerful and convenient. Bookshelves of outdated encyclopedias are less and less used and have become relics, as technology keeps updating the new information that is found....

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