Block Whomever You Want on Social Media
Social media is tricking people into thinking they have the right to have access to anyone at anytime to say absolutely anything. They don’t. Anyone who runs up into your comments or replies and starts cursing or being abusive off rip and demands that you engage with their disrespect has issues. Don’t invite that into your space. Block or mute them and get on with your life. Ignore the arguments about you being a “coward” who “doesn’t want to debate” them. It’s all projection. They have nothing of value to offer, and they know it. Especially the ones who are the most committed. It’s all smoke and mirrors propping up people with no intrinsic self-worth. Why else would they sea lion into people’s comments looking for negative attention? Really think about how pathetic and sad a person’s life has to be for them to have to resort to that kind of behavior.
The Internet is (mostly) open and allows people to interact freely. It’s a virtual world, but it is still a part of society. People who can’t behave properly on social media can’t behave properly in the real world. Never forget that. Their dysfunctionality always plays itself out in their real lives. If someone approached you in public, accosted you verbally and followed you for blocks screaming at you, you’d do whatever you could to get away for them and maybe even send for a constable. Women who have been harassed and followed on the street are familiar with this dynamic and can see its parallel in their social media interactions. It’s not a coincidence that it’s mostly men who are rampaging through social media comments being aggressive, unruly, disrespectful, and demanding they be treated as Lord of the manor. It’s also not a coincidence that white men become particularly belligerent when women of color, and Black women in particular, refuse to make ourselves available to be abused on demand.
These men are telling on themselves. They lack impulse control. They don’t have any manners. They don’t believe they should have to behave decently. And, most importantly, they don’t understand consent. They don’t believe we have the right to decide who speaks to us, when, and in what manner. They believe they should be the masters of all they survey. They feel entitled to other people’s attention (particularly women’s) but lack the social skills to obtain it through proper channels. That demand that we make ourselves open and available to them no matter how rude their approach is all glass-fragile ego hiding behind pathetically transparent bravado. They’re losers. They’re losers with women. It’s why any environment that embraces trolling is steeped in virulent misogyny. Then there’s the racism. And the fascism… It’s better just to block them at the first sign of foolishness and spare yourself the headache.
Personal boundaries are important. People who violate them reflexively are dangerous. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. “I get to treat you any way I please, and any protest or complaint you make is weakness” is abuser logic. We are living with the consequences of people (again, mostly men) insisting that everybody “sack up” and shrug this toxicity off. These men (I hate to keep repeating myself, but it’s mostly men) are being radicalized. Their hatred for women and “Others” is driving the ugliness we’re watching unfold. The problems social media giants are having managing abusive and hateful content is being complicated by something people don’t want to admit: a lot of tech bros fit the description I’ve given, and they’ve infiltrated (or maybe even founded) those companies and poisoned them. There’s a reason literal Nazis are being given free rein and posts saying “Men are trash” are getting users banned. Fascists should be debated; feminists using a vinegary turn of phrase should be destroyed.
You don’t have to speak to anyone you don’t want to. No one is entitled to your attention, time, or labor. All the talk about creating “echo chambers” and people “stunting their intellectual growth” is pathetic concern trolling. As if anyone who’s sensible got that way on Twitter. Curate your online space in a way that’s conducive to your mental health. Don’t let anyone normalize aggression, toxicity, and being treated poorly for you. Mute people you don’t want to hear from for whatever reason you don’t want to hear from them. Block them. And don’t put any stock in the “sensitive” label — it’s a way for people who are entitled and disrespectful to dodge personal responsibility. And even if you are sensitive, how is that a stranger’s business? People have gotten too comfortable and overly familiar. The Internet is a part of society. Shun people who are incapable of conducting themselves properly there and insist on polluting the experience for everyone else.