One of the most ingenious aspects of Twitter is that if someone is annoying you or being rude, you can simply unfollow them or even block them. I have blocked my fair share of people, and most of the time I’ve done it without giving it a second thought.
Blocking someone is strange because it’s like erasing him or her from your life. With the click of a button – poof – they are gone. It’s like they never existed. I’ve also experienced being on the other side of a block. When you are the person being blocked, at least for me, it is hurtful. It is the ultimate way that someone can send you a clear message that they want you gone, never to be heard from again.
Being unfollowed, to me, is no big deal. People unfollow each other all the time for various reasons (you can read this article to see some of the reasons: What Do You Do When You Get Unfollowed on Twitter?). However, being blocked, on the other hand, means that person also prevents you from following them; they want you to go away in every way.
In some situations, it is very necessary to block someone if they are being rude or inappropriate because Twitter is our happy place, and we shouldn’t have to deal with that. However, in many cases, I think we get trigger happy with the block button.
I’ve matured a lot since I got on Twitter a year ago. I’ve learned that Twitter relationships and real life relationships are very similar. Just as you would think twice before kicking someone out of your real life, sometimes it might be best to think twice before kicking someone out of your Twitter life also.
10 Reasons Not To Block Someone On Twitter
1. Everyone deserves a second chance
Some people will disagree with me here, but I believe this is true. So someone was a jerk to you on Twitter – if they apologize and are genuine about it, do you think you might be able to give them a second chance to do the right thing?
2. Their tweet was simply the result of having a bad day
We all have bad days every now and then and we all say things that we regret when we aren’t feeling our best. Sometimes we have to just give people a break, even on Twitter.
3. Are you making an emotional decision? Can you sleep on it?
Although it’s hard sometimes, I’ve found that it is best to not make decisions when we are emotional. You want to block someone? Would you consider sleeping on it just to be sure you feel the same way in the morning? If you feel the same way when you wake up, then blocking is probably the right thing to do. But chances are, you’ll wake up and think that person is annoying as hell, but you won’t think it is necessary to block him.
4. Alcohol might be involved
C’mon, be for real, you’ve never had too many glasses of wine and then gotten on Twitter? You must be an angel. My personal view on this is that if someone gets on Twitter after having too much to drink and they make a fool out of themselves, they are going to have to deal with the embarrassment and the tarnished reputation the next day. They don’t need me to rub salt in that already fresh wound by blocking them as well.
5. We may have taken their tweet out of context
Online humor is different than ‘in person’ humor because many things do not translate from one to the other. I see it in blog posts and tweets all the time, people trying to be funny but it’s just not working out. Can we give them the benefit of the doubt? Maybe we just took that humor out of context, is that possible? In this article 4 Tips For Handling A Spat With An Internet Friend, I wrote that when we are reading text without the benefit of hearing someone’s voice or having eye contact, it’s very easy to take things out of context, “Be more patient, more kind and more understanding than you might be in person because just as you are trying to decipher their text, they are doing the same thing with yours. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt, always.”
6. Slip of the tongue
Oh… this is a good one. It’s fun to watch on Twitter. Someone will send a tweet and then their very next tweet will be either justifying what they were really trying to say or apologizing for how it came out. We all have a slip of the tongue every now and then in real life and on Twitter. I open my mouth and insert my foot on a regular basis. If you want to see my own embarrassment in action, just read the comments on this article How To: Handle a Parking Douchebag and Keep Your Sanity. It’s pretty easy to forgive and forget on this one, no real reason to block, right?
7. You never know
You never know what is going on at the other end of someone’s tweet. They could be in a very bad situation and you don’t know about it. Their twitter account could be hijacked by their kids, they could be trying to use Google translator and it’s not working, they could be in a very bad relationship and it’s causing them stress. You just never know. My own personal rule of thumb is that they have to be a jerk on more than one occasion for me to block them because I don’t know what is going on with them in their life at that time.
8. Forgiveness is always a better path to take
Wow, I have learned this lesson the hard way, and I’ve learned it on Twitter. When you don’t forgive someone it’s like you are allowing a snake to bite you over and over again. If you want to break free of that, you have to forgive. Don’t do it for the other person, but do it for yourself. You will feel lighter and happier. In this article 10 Lessons I’ve Learned On Twitter I wrote, “If you want to be filled with joy, forgive everyone for everything. Period.” and I still stand by that today.
9. Do you have followers to spare?
A friend of mine has 5 followers on Twitter and she is so cute because she is proud of every one of those followers. Even though she’s only sent about ten tweets, the way she looks at it, she set up an account, she wrote a bio, she found a picture and she tweeted. That is a lot of work and she got 5 followers out of the deal. I know for her, if she blocked one, she would lose 20% of her followers which would make her sad. You know I don’t believe that the numbers matter much; however, do you have followers to throw on the pile and write off forever?
As you know, karma is a mother and just be careful you aren’t blocking someone because you want to hurt them, get their attention, or just to be nasty. If you do that, you know you will attract those same kind of followers to you, and it’s not a pretty sight. I saw this play out on someone’s Twitter page about a month ago, and she was so clueless and still kept throwing out insults and I just wanted to say to her, stop and take a look at what’s happening. However, it’s easy for us all to get caught up in a self righteous moment, I’ve done it myself a million times. Let’s try to remember about karma next time it happens.
Thank you for your lovely pictures!