This morning, I removed a blog post that I did last night. Only 3 people saw it before I took it down and I hope they keep quiet about it.
I took it down because I went beyond ironic to cruel in it. It was about the Congregational Church here in town and some of my interactions with the staff. I thought I was being humorous, but I was being unkind instead. So I took it down.
One of the problems about writing on a screen is that there aren't the same internal limits that we have we writing a letter by hand. The physical experience of holding a pen, it seems to me, opens up a sub-conscious area where we actually imagine the person we're writing to reading what we wrote a few days later.
Email, Face-book (which I don't do), Twitter (which I don't understand much less 'do') and all the other media things (isn't one called Instagram?) free us from the image of the person reading what we write on a screen--mostly because we have no idea, really, who all will read it.
I've gotten in trouble trying to be ironic or humorous in emails (mostly one's I've sent to bishops or members of the staff of the Diocese--see my other post from 11/17!) and it's not easy to straighten out. I actually believe we 'read' stuff on a screen differently than we would read a hand-written letter that we hold and touch.
The 'touch' is missing on a screen. And I lost 'touch' last night when I wrote something more cruel than ironic, more unkind than humorous.
I'm glad I removed it. That reminded me of the letters I've torn up and never sent (bet you have some of those if you remember when we used to 'write letters'...) It felt good to remove that post, just as tearing up a letter because you finally realized the person who would read it might be confused or hurt by your words in ink on paper.
I've torn up lots of letters. But this morning was the first time I took down a post. Though I've never done that before, it felt 'good' and 'right' to do it.
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