Thursday, October 10, 2013

Not Cat, Not Movies, Eradication

I've been debating for three weeks whether or not to address a recent event in my life on my blog. Since it turns out that this is something I can do nothing about, I decided to do what I could about it, and write.

I have two separate lives, each one is precious to me. There is my "real" life at home and work with my husband, family ,pets, and friends.  I have a second life as well,  which it would seem is just as real as my first one, that's my "on line" life. I never realized before how much this virtual life meant to me until it was grossly disrupted, by rejection. The debate about whether or not it should mean anything much to me at all will have to wait.

I've been "blocked" on twitter by someone I admire who was not only someone I followed, but who also followed me as well. Now in the recent past I was also blocked, by someone with mega fame, a former Tour de France winner who I will not name, and whose "blockage" was sought and delighted in, a badge of honor
This latest episode however came as a complete shock and surprise. And what is no less surprising is how damned much it hurts! (may I add an addendum here by saying I inadvertently  unfollowed several people on twitter last night all of whom contacted me immediately expressing their hurt, so I guess I'm not overreacting as much as I had supposed) I have processed this event within myself, with friends, with anyone who would listen and I am coming up empty on causality. I have no idea what I did (or didn't do). Now, I admit that I can be enthusiastic, but I was minding my manners out of sheer admiration  and being ever so polite. I also admit I can be slightly obsessive, but I kept my tweets to a couple a week, and for those of you who know and love me you know that is showing no small amount of restraint. I can be curious as well but never ever would I "stalk" someone, even in the on line world. No, I can come up with nothing.
This essentially  begs the question, why should rejection on twitter from someone you don't know mean so much? I'm not too sure...but I feel like Mary Reilly right now.

I suppose like most people I vacillate between thinking I AM all that, and thinking I am nothing of the kind. So I wander between how dare he block me, to why in God's name who anyone follow me in the first place? Ah, there's the nugget I've been digging for. Over the past three weeks I have wondered, why does the one "no" outweigh all of the "yeses"? Why is it that as humans we only tend to hear what is negative about us rather than what we are praised for? Is it that the negativity, the rejections, confirm what we really think about ourselves? That we are only worthy of being censured, and ostracized? If so this shines a beam on a truly sad aspect of human nature. And unfortunately I have come up with no answers, perhaps time will allow me to gain some wisdom and insight from this event. (And apparently I am not the only person out there scratching her/his head)

What small bits of clarity I have realized  however are these (and my wisdom only extends as far as twitter, I can't help you much with the "real" world)

Would an "unfollow" do as well as a block? (unless of course someone is stalking you, or being obscene) I mean seriously do you need to use the nuclear option when batting a mosquito? Most people are upset enough at an unfollow and will generally get the hint.

If someone tweeted something you found obnoxious, but was not directed at you, can you ignore it? You can do this easily by unfollowing or  "muting" their tweets. This way they won't show up in your timeline, and you won't make them feel lower than dust by blocking them.

On twitter sometimes it's hard to know who is talking to you (especially if like me they don't give their real names) Don't block someone because you think they might be someone else you may have had issues with. Look at their profile, you can tell a new "stalking" type account from a well established genuine one.

And finally, consider how you might feel if someone you admired blocked you. I can assure you that even in the ethereally anonymous world of twitter it feels really awful.

I'm happy to say I'm not angry at this person, and if  forgiveness is appropriate and mine to bestow I've done that. I am merely befuddled and confused, and I think I am correct in thinking that if this person knew how much angst his actions have caused me (however unjustified) he would feel badly.  I suppose that I won't ever know what happened and that's fine. Maybe in the end I don't want to hear something along the lines of, "well I just didn't like her". Knowing that might actually hurt more than being blocked, and at this point who needs that?


Joel Williams said...

I'm sure I've been blocked before...due to my abundance of tweets or due to a conflict of view. But I don't *know* that I have...I guess there's a way to tell. I'm guessing if I did find would be hard to swallow. It would then be 'personal' and I'd wonder 'why'. be honest, there are times when I've blocked others. Not often...I'm pretty selective of whom I follow (#TeamFollowBack?...NOPE!) I usually go back the next day and unblock or re-follow, etc.

I like how Tweetbot has an option to block for a period of time like 1 hr, 24 hrs, 1 week, etc. That gives me time to let my frustration (for whatever infraction I felt was worthy of a brick wall) ease and I don't have to go back and 'unblock'.

Thanks for writing this, Paula...I hope it was a little cathartic for you...being a part of your 'online life' I can't image who'd block you.

strbuk said...

Thanks Joel! I've been knocking around whether I should or not. And as you know I've got lots on my plate now, but it felt good to express it rationally (if indeed I did) I miss blogging, I used to write about 1100 words a day and I like it. Wish I had more of value to say!!

Ducky said...

It could still be a Twitter "glitch" as there are many. But, in this case, if it isn't, I would think that you're correct that he would feel badly about it. Maybe we will find out someday. You never know.

strbuk said...

Thanks Ducky, and you know I wouldn't ever want him to feel badly. I guess that's what bothers me so much, he's actually someone I think I might really like if I knew him. Our politics, likes, dislikes, and his spectacular wife all speak so well for him. If he was a creep I would just laugh.