Why I’ve Started Unfriending and Blocking People

I used to pride myself for never unfriending anyone on Facebook. I just wouldn’t do it. I wanted to show that I would reject no one, that I was perfectly inclusive. When things got really out of hand, when someone was attacking me intensely, one of my other friends would step in and join the fight. That friend would invariably say something that would lead to the aggressor unfriending me.

Recently, I have noticed that much of my time online was spent sparring with people who neither understood what I was talking about nor were capable of (or interested in) finding out. There was a kind of arrogance that suggested they knew better than me, that I was wrong, and that I needed to learn something from them. However, no matter how much time I would spend to understand their point of view, it never seemed to satisfy them. They seemed to need me to change so that I supported their perspective wholeheartedly. I had to become a different person to validate them. I just couldn’t do that. I can’t convert to a religion and I can’t lie about how I feel, what I know, or what I am experiencing.

The reality is that my social media profile is mine. I am presenting myself to the world as best I can. Just because I seem open to other ideas, it doesn’t mean that I’m naïve. I can’t be brainwashed to make these people feel better. My wife, Cindy, has told me many times to just unfriend these people. She tells me that they don’t respect me, that they don’t appreciate me, and that they have no idea where I’m coming from. She points out that they waste my time and energy. Here are three archetypes I’ve ended up blocking:

The Political Zealot

The Spiritual Bullshitter

The Victim of Privilege


In the last week, I have taken a no-holds-barred approach to unfriending and blocking people. As soon as there is a sign of disrespect, often informed by past interactions, I am shutting it down. Folks don’t get to be part of my world if they can’t extend basic respect to others.

Yesterday, a comment came in from a friend who has pushed his luck with disrespect before. Instead of engaging in a pointless and never-ending game of emotional push-pull, as I would in the past, I asked if he was willing to be vulnerable and authentic on my timeline. He refused, so I unfriended and blocked his ass; nothing personal.

Duncan Riach, Ph.D.

Written by

An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives | duncanriach.com

Duncan Riach, Ph.D.

Written by

An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives | duncanriach.com

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