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Social Media Madness: The Block

by Chris Hearn 3 years ago in social media

Nothing says arrogance quite like the social media block.

Photo by William Iven/Unsplash

I don't know about you, but I must laugh at people online sometimes. Now, assuredly, they laugh about me as well, but that's something to analyse at a different time.

What am I laughing at in particular at this moment? The block threat. You've probably seen someone on either your Twitter feed or Facebook who declares that they are ready to block people at will. They may something like, "If I see anyone on my timeline say X, I will immediately block them."

The answer I have to that is... So? Who cares? Really, honestly, who cares? Who do you think you are? Do you think you are the most interesting person on the planet that everyone is just waiting with bait breath for your next brilliant post? Do you think that anyone really cares if you block them for having a differing opinion? Do you honestly think you are so important that the threat of a block actually means something? The answer, once again is... No. No one is going to be negatively affected if you block them. The vast majority of people probably don't care one bit and won't miss your brilliant posts. No, it's a ridiculous threat that shows a tremendous amount of arrogance.

Now, that's not to say the block feature is useless. It can be very useful. There may be someone that is going after you or saying some really horrible thing that you don't want to see. Blocking them makes sense. But does it really have to be announced, as if the threat of a block will change anything? No. It really doesn't. If you want to block someone, just block them. The threat really doesn't mean anything. It's just a way for someone to feel as though they have some kind of power over others. It's a pointless threat that makes the person who makes it feel important! But, really, that's about it. I don't think a lot of people are out there losing sleep over being blocked by someone you may not have even met in real life. At least I am not. Mind you, I'm kind of weird, so, it could be just me projecting on to everyone else.

Sorry. This probably comes across sounding awfully mean. It's just an honest analysis of an online threat that doesn't really hold much weight. And yet, for some reason, it has become part of our internet culture. How these things start and spread is beyond me. Maybe in this case it is the fact that people feel like it gives them a level of power. Maybe all of us internet users are feeling a loss of power and therefore looking for new ways to regain some of that power? I suppose we all feel that we are in total control of our timelines and pages. But, are we? Do we really have much power over our online presence? Maybe, consciously, we feel that we have control, but subconsciously, we know that we don't. How much stuff happens online that we have so little control over? Paid content shows up on our timelines constantly. Random people message us with words or pics that we didn't ask for and really don't want. Algorithms seem to be developed around our every move. I open up my email, and there is advertising geared toward the last thing that I looked at online. I didn't want that. How did I get it? What is happening?

So, even though I claim that it's a tad arrogant to use the whole, "If you say X, I will block you" thing, maybe it's just people's ways of regaining some control in an out of control online world? Hmmmmm.

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Chris Hearn

I'm a 47 year old writer, amateur photographer and amateur dad living in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

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