Our culture is now a digital culture. To overcome the old dichotomy between “digital” versus “face to face,” some no longer speak of “online” versus “offline” but only of “onlife,” incorporating human and social life in its various expressions, be they in digital or physical spaces. Well beyond the act of using social media as a tool, we are living in an ecosystem shaped at its core by the experience of social sharing. We turn to social media for a sense of belonging and affirmation, transforming it into a vital space where the communication of core values and beliefs takes place. (#9, 10)Later on, it quotes from Pope Francis' Message for the 48th World Communications Day to describe this "onlife" integration:
The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people,” if we remember that on the other side of the screen there are no “numbers” or mere “aggregates of individuals.” but people who have stories, dreams, expectations, sufferings. There is a name and a face. (#47)
All our senses are engaged when we share a meal: taste and smell, glances that contemplate the faces of the diners, listening to the conversations at table. Sharing a meal at table is our first education in attention to others, a fostering of relationships among family members, neighbours, friends, and colleagues. Likewise, we participate with the whole person at the altar: mind, spirit, and body are involved. The liturgy is a sensory experience; we enter into the Eucharistic mystery through the doors of the senses that are awakened and fed in their need for beauty, meaning, harmony, vision, interaction and emotion. Above all, the Eucharist is not something that we can just “watch;” it is something that truly nourishes us. (#61)However, this distinction between in-person and virtual liturgy is more of a qualification rather than the main point. The strength of Towards Full Presence is the authoritative embrace of social media and digital experience as a real "place" where ministry, community, and mission can happen, alongside and as extensions of in-person ministry. Billions of people are now so used to connecting with others online, in some deeply intimate and important ways, that it's an essential part of how they exist in the world.