POPE Benedict XVI has hailed the benefits of silent reflection and encouraged people to stop being "bombarded" by information from the Internet,
But the pontiff says social networks could still be useful modes of communication.
"People today are frequently bombarded with answers to questions they have never asked and to needs of which they were unaware," the pope said in his now-traditional yearly message on the Vatican and social comunications.
"It is necessary to develop an appropriate environment, a kind of ecosystem that maintains a just equilibrium between silence, words, images and sounds," said the pope, while also defending responsible Internet communication.
"Attention should be paid to the various types of websites, applications and social networks which can help people today to find time for reflection and authentic questioning,'' the pope said.
"In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated," the 84-year-old pope said in an apparent reference to the micro-blogging site Twitter.
But he added this was true only "as long as those taking part in the conversation do not neglect to cultivate their own inner lives."
The Pope's speech comes as the Vatican reveals its news website is getting between 8000 and 10,000 hits a day with peaks of up to 16,000 hits over Christmas.
The website, which brings together all the Vatican's official communications and news from the Catholic Church around the world, was launched in June.
The data was announced by archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications at a Vatican press conference.
Celli said the average time visitors spent on the site in English, Italian and Spanish was around two minutes, which he said showed that those consulting it were not doing so "by mistake" but were reading some of its continent.
Almost a third of visitors - 27 percent - were from the United States, followed by browsers from Italy, Germany and Spain.
There were also many visitors from Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
Celli said most the visits to the website were through social media networks - with 65 percent from Facebook and 30 percent from Twitter