8 Christian Habits for Being Good and Doing Good Online

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: February 5, 2021

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Winner of a third-place award in the church professional category from the Catholic Media Association.

Do you behave on social media as the Christian you want to be? Are you dismayed at the often divisive and cruel exchanges you read online? In #Rules_of_Engagement, Ann M. Garrido shares eight practical habits that will help you align your activity in the digital world with the call of the Gospel to be Christ's presence in the world.

Popes Benedict and Francis have called upon Christians across the globe to embrace the internet as a new “digital continent” and think of it as mission territory, a place where we can—with careful thought and discipline—accomplish enormous good.

Even as we strive to be faithful to our Christian values, many of us still show up on social media and behave in ways unbecoming a follower of Jesus Christ. Rather than practicing compassion, truth, honesty, and communion online, we sometimes are mean-spirited, inflammatory, and untruthful. Garrido tackles the problem head-on by providing practical tools, theological guidance, and spiritual inspiration for being the person God wants you to be online.

Garrido offers eight practices, rooted in Catholic tradition and teaching, that will help you avoid doing harm, and instead equip you to be a force for good through your social media presence and activities:

  • clarify your purpose
  • know your sources
  • understand bias
  • value the person
  • lead with curiosity
  • talk about intent and impact
  • privilege face-to-face encounter
  • manage your energy

The book includes simple exercises to help you assess your social media behaviors and integrate Garrido's suggestions into your online communications as well as the opportunity to join a community of concerned Christians striving to live these habits.

Product Details

Pages: 128

Trim size: 5 x 7 inches

ISBN: 9781646800599

Imprint: Ave Maria Press


Ann M. Garrido created a parent discussion guide and facilitator's guide to help Catholic school leaders enter into conversations with parents about their use of social media and the impact it has on their children.


Use the discussion guide and facilitator's guide to foster meaningful conversations in your parish around social media use and its impact.

  • “A masterpiece of personal insight.”

    “This is a masterpiece of personal insight and pastoral practicality. It's an ongoing examination of online consciousness about who we are on social media and a proposal for who we want to be in these digital spaces that are both profane Babels and sacred Basilicas.”

    Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
    Founding Director
    Pauline Center for Media Studies

  • “Long-needed.”

    “A long-needed book! While the moral sphere of the digital world is sometimes a perilous place for our souls, the internet also gives us opportunities to do good. Happily, Ann M. Garrido offers us ways to think about our responsibilities and shows us how to be good Christians while interacting online.”

    Fr. James Martin, S.J.

  • “An excellent primer.”

    “#Rules_of_Engagement is an excellent primer for Catholics new to social media and for those wanting to reboot how they behave there.”

    Mary Pezzulo
    Creator of Steel Magnificat 
    Author of Stumbling into Grace

  • “Practical, concrete tools.”

    “Ann M. Garrido's reflective exercises and suggested habits provide practical, concrete tools for helping us navigate this often treacherous online terrain and make choices that reflect our best, authentic selves.”

    Sandra Derby
    Theology teacher and coordinator of Liturgy
    St. Agnes Academy
    Houston, Texas

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