Block Whoever You’d Like
Your Social Media experience is yours to dictate.
I recently read an article by Tim Denning. I’m not familiar with the guy, other than that we write for one of the same publications. I’m sure we have some spillover as well, and this isn’t anything about him, other than to say that I disagree with this one position of his pretty vehemently.
I have a very short fuse for stupid people.
My mama always said it about me growing up, and it’s definitely the truth.
There are so many people in this world who are not only wrong, but their excited about their wrongness, and they want to share in their wrongness with you. And they get angry with you for calling it out or, you know, suggesting that it might be wrong in any way.
Some of these people, you can’t cut away. You’re always gonna have that one aunt who thinks Dr. Oz is a sex machine-font of wisdom and practical advice, and that if you want to detox your colon, you better start bleaching it with Kale, or whispering Yanni songs as you shove a moon-kissed amethyst geode up your nether end.
But that doesn’t mean you have to put up with their nonsense on social media. Especially if they start getting pushy with their pyramid schemes / “professional opportunities”.
If you block them, you don’t have to see them.
This also works great with people with political views that are archaic, or just plain evil. And a million other things besides.
The world drains you.
Especially if you’re unprivileged in some ways.
I’m a spoonie. I’m a superfat cripple with depression and anxiety up the wazoo. I don’t like falling back on that card very much, but it’s the simple truth. That’s who I am.
And I can’t control how the outside world sees me.
So, when I leave the house, I go out knowing that I have to deal with everything that comes my way: the seats creaking under me, having to squeak into spaces that don’t fit, having people roll their eyes at me when I have to ask for accommodations or help.
There is no block button in real life. But there is one on the internet. Which means that nonsense doesn’t have to be tolerated.
Even if it’s mild. Even if the person is only pulling in somewhere around the middle of the Hitler-Hanks Spectrum at that particular moment.
So, what it breaks down to is alarmingly simple:
You do not owe anyone on the internet your energy.
You do not owe anyone on the internet your time.
You do not owe anyone on the internet your inner peace of mind.
If you enjoy doing that, it’s fine. There are times where I certainly get energy out of a lively debate. But the secret to this whole thing is doing it on your terms.
The internet is full of people who are much more keen on being assholes than they are on having a lively, good-faith debate of ideals.
And they get the block hammer.
Blocking people doesn’t say anything bad about you.
I use a Google Chrome add-on called Twitter Block Chain.
The way that it works is that you can go to any individual account’s page of followers and people that it follows, and, it will run through and block any of them that you’re not already following.
(You have to repeat it a few times if the person has a lot of followers, but it’ll typically block around 1,000 to 5,000 at a time.)
You know what? My Twitter experience became a lot better after I ran that app on some certain pages. If you know my politics, you can probably guess who.
And I block people who make fat jokes or any kind of rude comments like that when I’m trying to talk politics and ideals.
They aren’t worth my time. They don’t deserve a second chance. I’m not going to try to spend my energy trying to make them less of an asshole.
My social media is my bubble, and I get to dictate who’s in my space and who isn’t. And it makes the whole thing so much more enjoyable and a hell of a lot less stressful.
If this was a perfect world, where I had unending energy and time, then maybe. But I only get 24 hours in a day, and whatever handful of years I get.
Life is too short not to block people.
Zach J. Payne is, to borrow the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda, “a polymath, a pain in the ass, a massive Payne”. He is a thespian, poet, and writer for young adults. He is the #2 Ninja Writer. Follow along on his adventure, and receive his Query Letter, Deconstructed.