Anyone Else Want to Give up eMail for Lent?

Anyone Else Want to Give up eMail for Lent? March 2, 2012

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Don’t worry, I’m not REALLY going to do it, but boy do I want to.

Last year I updated a post pushing back on the idea that one should give up social media for Lent. In that post I basically argue that, unless it is holding you back from somehow connecting to God, don’t give it up. Lenten disciplines are about finding those things in life that create separation between oneself and the divine. Sometimes that means giving something up that is creating separation and other times it might mean adding something that enables connection. Whatever the case may be, Lent should be a time of reflection and a time to remember that we humans are not, in fact, God.

I had any courage, I would give up email for Lent.

Case in point is that this post itself is in direct response to the overwhelming nature of my inbox and the tyrannical hold that it often has on my life. While my social media interaction often leaves me with a sense of growing closer to God through the development of relationships with others, email is pretty much about tasks, workflow, assignments and efficiency . . . a very low percentage is about community building.

This is not to say that the projects in which I am engaged are not worthwhile and their purpose with some effort and sacrifice, but it sure would be nice to take a break from it all without the unread email count taunting me at every turn. I know that some of you have developed much healthier email practices and you can feel free to offer suggestions, but I am simply sharing a frustration – and corresponding dream to give up email – that I am sure many others have.

Who’s with me . . . at least in spirit?

PS: I totally want to write a book, “One Year Without eMail” but there is no way I would ever make it. Sure is nice to dream about though.

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2 responses to “Anyone Else Want to Give up eMail for Lent?”

  1. I know a young man who gave up his cell phone for an entire year.  And it was his freshman year in college.  He used land lines to make and snail mail to communicate with his family and friends.  In addition, he wrote a blog each year where he discussed his feelings, etc.  I respect and admire him so much as I know how “important” the cell phone is to all of us, especially teenagers.  I was contacted about a month ago by a PW friend.  When I asked for her cell number to be able to reach her at a hotel she told me she only had a landline at home and OnStar for her car. . .no cell phone. 

    Thanks for these very provocative thoughts.