Lost a friend awhile back over some ridiculous dispute over email. This of course is sad, it is always sad to lose a friend, and over something as trivial as email, only makes it worse. He was upset because I blind copied him as a receiver of mail, and did not name him personally as “addressed to” then he wrote back and got nasty about it.
Push came to shove, and the rest of it is now history I am sad to report.
It is funny how people place so much emphasis on friendship in this day and age; they actively promote it, encourage it, seek it out in all manner of diverse places, but are so quick to throw it away. This friend went to all the trouble to capitalize his complaints by prefacing his message with “I want a message sent to ME by YOU not some generic message to the world.”
Ironic as it may seem, this has happened over and over countless times.
Now in the past I have sent this person messages, plenty of them, only to be ignored and never answered. U.S. Mail on numerous dates, cards and letters on birthdays and special occasions, telephone messages left and not answered, all manner of communication specifically targeted towards him and all brushed off or just flat out ignored. Such is life, those who receive the most are it seems, the first to complain.
Then he receives one lousy email and goes postal on me and rags me about it with a vengeance. Well, that dog isn’t gonna hunt as Dr. Phil would say, so I gave him a taste of his own medicine. (Reference note: People will treat you in the manner that you allow them to do so. I am a lot of things in this world to a great many people, but I am not willing to be just pushed around by some, friends or otherwise.)
Might be worth mentioning here that rude and nasty is never appealing on anyone, in an Email or otherwise.
I quickly responded and of course he did not like this manner of reproach … Now today I find myself with one less friend in this world, and that is never a good thing. It certainly isn’t an insurmountable hurdle in life and I am sure I will get over it, but no one, not even myself, deliberately sets out to destroy a relationship. Especially a well seasoned and long relationship as this was (since high school). Email always causes a lot of problems in life.
Grabbing my saw and venturing one more time out on the proverbial limb I am going to state that I believe Email is possibly the “worst invention of the twentieth-century” and I am almost sure that a lot of us could live quite well without it.
Might even say that Email is the bane of society, that it not only wreaks havoc with people, but destroys business (Take this blog for instance, a full 44% of the readers of this daily page, read it while at work.) and it has in all probability never helped governments succeed in this day and age.
Email is impersonal and try as you may, you can dress it up with cute little animations, flowers, animals and sentiments, but it will never replace the one on one encounter that the telephone has to offer. It has a profound tendency to be mis-read by countless people, and has caused more problems than it is worth.
At one time in my life I considered “junk mail” the biggest intrusion in my little corner of the world which was quickly followed by “telephone solicitors.” But I am quickly reaching a point in time now where Email is slamming its way to the forefront of all those unsavory things in life that seem to steal your joy.
In my case I find it is not worthy of my attention to it. It robs me of my time, steals from valued relationships in life and often is the “thorn in my side” as the Apostle Paul would lament.
There is an old axiom that says “for every encounter in life, regardless of it being good or bad, you take something away from it.” And I suppose that is true, from this I have learned that it is best that I do not answer Email correspondence when I am irritated or bent out of shape, nothing good will come of it.
I suppose my friend could have learned that “a man wrapped up in himself, is truly a rather small package.” But I kind of doubt it. Anywho, the damage is done, and with time it will heal.
This morning my thoughts are going back to Rodney King when he so eloquently put it all in one simple sentence a long, long time ago. He said “Can’t we all just get along?”
Email is a pimple on the rear of mankind, pure and simple.
Pass it on.