Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Emailing Emotions

I get a hundred or more e-mails a day. Most of them are impersonal advertisements or solicitations from who knows what – if you have e-mail you know what I am talking about. For me, for the most part, if I did not ask for the e-mail or am not expecting it – I delete it before I even open it. I don’t look at funny pictures or videos or stories. I don’t pass on your prayer e-mails or touching stories to nine of my friends, I just don’t.

A former business partner told me once that the reason he sends e-mails is because they are emotion free exchanges of information or directives. That people do not have to argue or misunderstand what is expected of them or what you are saying to them. I think he was wrong; many e-mails are often taken emotionally.

I have sent e-mails that were totally misunderstood, or it was what I meant at the time but almost immediately wished I had not sent it. Most people have done that. Recently I wrote an e-mail just ripping apart a guy I was upset with, however, I sent it to a friend instead of the victim. We got a laugh out of it, I got it off my chest and out of my head and the victim was none the wiser. I got to think about things a little more and decided a bit of grace was in order before the chopping block.

I have several e-mails from friends who have passed away over the last two years as well as my father. I feel strange when I see them and wonder what would happen if I e-mailed them. I read the e-mails and remember the things that were going on when I sent them. What do you do with those? They are huge emotional e-mails for me now.

I have a few handwritten letters from my dad before he died. I cherish those. I look at his penmanship and his choice of paper. It is all classic dad. You don’t get handwritten letters too often anymore. I would guess if we all sent our moms or a friend a handwritten letter today, they would be thrilled and the letter would be a cherished momentum.

I never really liked getting cards, either. The ones that have the words inside partially underlined by the sender and then an “I Love You” at the end. I have always thought that was cheesy. At least write a paragraph and say something personal in regards to us. E-mail cards are even worse.

So I guess the point I am trying to make is that e-mails are best used to transfer benign information to another. When you really need to get something done, use the telephone. Don’t cop out and expect huge results from an e-mail – if you sent it to me, chances are I deleted it before I even read it. Try calling, writing a letter or write inside that card next time.

I think it shows that you care for some one more when you show them that you gave them some of your time. That you had to think about them only for just a period of time. God gifts us when we give of ourselves.

God Bless and share His love.

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