If you take a blog post title and add “open letter” to it you automatically get 10 times the traffic and attention. While, on one hand, we write to be read we also must be responsible in our writing and not reward the worst in people.
My hunch is that “open letter” draws traffic because we want to hear the dirt on someone. We want to see someone get blasted. We like conflict, drama and tension…even when it is stirred up among brothers and sisters in Christ. This ignites the worst in us and I just don’t care to be a part of that. Maybe you aren’t like that but I know it stirs up that part of me that doesn’t need to get stirred up. I can do without it.
I am seeing this trend more and more in Christian online writing and honestly, it disturbs me. Aside from this post, done to make a point and not aimed at anyone in particular, you won’t find me writing “open letters” and I really don’t care to read them either. Yes they work, if your goal is sheer traffic. No, they don’t work if your goal is actual conflict resolution, reconciliation, or spiritual formation. I am after the second even if that means getting less of the first, how about you?
If you want reconciliation and resolution give someone a call. If you are after internet traffic at the expense of transformation keep writing those open letters.