Although I maintain a fairly accessible social media presence here on this blog, over on reddit, but especially on twitter (P.S. If you’re looking to get in touch with me via linkedin or Facebook, you may be waiting a long time for a response), I’ve adopted a new approach to online interactions. Namely, the liberal use of the block function. In the past, I used to be very reluctant to block people as I felt that I somehow owed it to everyone to hear them out, regardless of how negative or offensive their opinions. But sometime, early this year, I reached a point of no return and decided that Life’s Too Short. So I started blocking. And once I started, I couldn’t stop. I started block people who were rude, those who were disrespectful, those who insisted on arguing past the point the discussion had ended. Then, I started blocking people I found objectionable for other reasons, be it coarseness, general incivility, or the simple fact that they were proving annoying. As time went on, I expanded my circle of blockness and found myself visiting trending topics to zero in on offense commenters I could block. By and large, they were individuals who didn’t follow me and, in reality, would probably never come across one of my tweets – but it made me feel good knowing I had completely excised the possibility of any future interactions from my timeline. It’s a cathartic process I find myself going back to on a daily basis, blocking an average of 50 accounts a day since early March, usually political pundits and know-it-alls from extreme sides of the political spectrum. And even though I try to be even-handed and block with equal measure, sometimes it can’t be helped.
Finally, to paraphrase Homer Simpson: “Although I wasn’t able to block everyone I wanted to, I have blocked a lot of you. Wendell is blocked. Rudy is blocked. Janey, you’re gone. Steven, I like your hustle. That’s why it was so hard to block you. Congratulations, the rest of you made the team! Except you, you and you.”