An Open Letter to Weary Internet Souls

by Andrea Kolber


Dear tired heart,

I see how you advocate and sound off for your cause. I see the way you stand for orphans, mental health, refugees, racism, veterans, safety, and hope (although, possibly at different times and in a different order).

Thank you for using your voice. Thank your for sharing your opinions. They do matter.

But let us also be honest.

We live in a world and a climate in which we easily lose each other’s humanity. Studies show the simple factor of communicating behind a screen directly impacts our ability to be empathic or care about other humans.

So whether this has caused you to say harsh things you would never, ever, dream of saying to someone face to face, or whether these things have been said to you, take heart, we weren’t meant to work out difficult things in only this way.

Also, this: your voice and your advocacy are important.

But also know, it is rare and uncommon for anyone’s opinions to be changed through a Facebook or twitter thread.

This doesn’t mean there’s not room for discussion, in fact, we need healthy conversation and push back. But the weight of changing someone’s mind does not fall on you. God gave each of us a brain, and we are called and responsible for our own actions and opinions.

So if your soul feels like it’s weighed down with a lead blanket, may I encourage you?

May I encourage you to log off for awhile and re-engage with your people and your hope and your faith?

This internet world is amazing and terrifying and scary and good. I have witnessed the value of it many times. But it’s just a resource. It’s not the 'be all, end all.' We were made for relationship, and so if you find yourself missing the grace, truth, and grit of real relationship, could you stop what you’re doing and call a friend? Could you meet for coffee? Could you go outside and breathe deep and long and slow?

And then, when you have honored the aches of your soul and done the work to care for your wounds, could you come back to us with your story and your voice?

After you have found ways to ensure you're not sucked dry from the weight of this, can you come back?

We need you so.