I have given up email and facebook for Lent.

Email is harder. Facebook will be difficult because I help some clients on facebook, but I’ve managed a happy medium on that. No facebook for fun – just profit! ,)

I have had an email address of my own since 1992, non-stop. Before that I shared MCIMail and Compuserve addresses with my family, and had regular bulletin board traffic. I’ve been using the written word to communicate digitally for twenty years non-stop, and for some five years before that it was fairly regular.

And I have become a barbarian. A cretin. A shadow of myself.

I rely upon email to do my dirty work. I throw out zingers I would never say face-to-face. I have become holier-than-thou behind my keyboard, and I do not like it. That’s not me.

Having recently read Strunk & White’s Elements of Style while undertaking the project of writing a book, I have noticed how poorly I write…unless I am going for the jugular for some poor soul who has inadvertently offended me. And, 99% of the time, the offense has been imagined or it has been without giving the other person a chance to even know I was offended without biting their head off for it.

This is not new. I’ve been doing it since the early days of email. And even before then I had a pen that burned like a sword to epic proportions. It was easy, across the miles, to send a letter and say to myself, “Huzzah! Take that, scallywag!”

But then I would hope I would not receive a response. And when it came, whether by post or email, I would cringe before reading it, knowing that I had been an inconsiderate sot, at the least, and downright mean usually.

Then facebook came along, and I continued the pattern. I figured, if you’re gonna have your opinion and post it so I can see it, then I’m gonna give you mine right back.

All of this has caused me to lose friends and have family members disown me.

Now, I’m not ashamed of my opinions or my feelings, but I have to recapture my niceness and my eloquence in writing. And, while a good zinger well-written is worth the respect of the ages – that is not my purpose in life. So, while I have burned many a bridge in my life, this reset is to help me not do it ever again.

If I succeed in this Lenten journey, then I will come back to facebook and email. If I do not, then I will stay away. I will limit my activities on both commensurate with what I have gained during this practice, and the beneficiary should be you and my relationship with you.

Until at least April 6 (Yep, I know, Lent is over on the 2nd, but I’m taking this through Easter), then, I’ll TALK to you later.

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