drawing blood with your keyboard

Late yesterday, I got a follow up email in regards to my 'nastygram' You know, the email that was sent to intentionally sting like a hornet. Thankfully, I resisted Satan's overwhelming urge to fire off a stinging rebuttal.
The follow-up basically said,  "I hope my email didn't sound mean, I was just having a bad day." 

I think all those CAPS and explanation points said otherwise!!!!!!!

I'm a huge fan of email. HUGE! It makes my life so much easier. But, I'm very careful when I email. I realize, email does not communicate my voice inflection. Or my  tone.  Plus, when writing in all CAPS,  it can appear as if you were shouting. All CAPS and lots of explanation points, can appear like you are shouting very LOUDLY!!!!!


Thanks for all the emails and notes yesterday. A good friend emailed me  thisIt's written by a pastor addressing his temptation to 'draw blood with his keyboard'  It's great! I've copied a pasted a few highlights. 

1) Email turns cowards into bullies. There are things that I’ll say in an email- tough things, blunt things, “Dirty-Harry-Go-Ahead-Make-My-Day-Do-You-Feel-Lucky-Punk” things that I would NEVER say to a person face-to-face. Hey- here’s a thought- since I wouldn’t say them directly to the person, what gives me the right to email them? The truth is that I’m a coward, and I’ve let the magic of email turn me into a bully. 
2) You can only ‘one-dimensionalize’ another person in an email. Because the person who has wronged you is not there when you write an email, he becomes a one dimensional figure. He’s the bad guy in the black hat who has just plain hurt you. He is not a real person who’s looking at you telling you about his real feelings. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lambasted a person who didn’t even really exist- only in my mind.

3) In the rare case of repentance, the person who wronged you can’t seek your forgiveness immediately. Every once in a while my hastily written emails have actually helped someone see their sin, and they repent (Note: only because God’s grace superseded my fleshly email). But what happens when a person reads your angrily written email on his Blackberry while he’s at work? He may have seven hours left in his day before he can call you and ask for your forgiveness. That is just a horrible place to put someone. A face-to-face meeting allows an immediate opportunity to express repentance.

Well…I was going to give more reasons, but I just got a nasty email from someone. Time to lacerate them with my macbook- just kidding!
The Nutella recipe is  here . It's meant to make hot chocolate.However,  I just stir a small spoon in my coffee. Heavenly!
clare said...

When I was a Cub Scout den mother we had a lady on the committee who would send out the most rude emails and then when you met her in person she was completely soft spoken and polite. It was the weirdest thing. Some of her emails were down right abusive and of course she would include the whole Cub Scout email list in the email so everyone would see what she had to say. Gave her a horrible reputation. Very very weird. I am guessing your emailer felt like a fool. Why do people, adults no less, think because they are having a bad day that it's ok to be rude and nasty and affect other peoples' days with their foul mood?!

Bri @ Mod Memento said...

Hi Heidi! thanks for leaving a kind comment on my blog this week! Your blog is so lovely...I really enjoyed looking through all your banners! So creative and such lovely images! ~Bri~

jen said...

Glad the Nutella made everything better! Ha!
One of my favorite books is, The Four Agreements. It's times like that email that I would refer to it, especially the second agreement which is " Don't take anything personally." I realize this is easier said than done, but the point is that what people do and say is a projection of their own reality. When you are not bothered by the opinions and action of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
Good Luck!

BTW I just have to say I just love your daughters expressions. She is just so photogenic and radiant!

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