I dislike when people make my online experience unpleasant. Maybe they’re bullies or trolls, maybe they’re the type to loudly and aggressively express their opinions, maybe they never have anything nice or positive to say, maybe they’re passive-aggressive, maybe they’re sexist or racist or homophobic, maybe they’re selfish and demanding no matter what the circumstance. Whatever their reasons, they tend to piss all over everything and ruin it for the rest of us (me, they ruin it for me). Or, worse, they make me dread something I previously enjoyed, or want to enjoy, and then their crap starts spilling over into my real life and that’s just not cool.
So I’m a fan of unfriending, unfollowing, and–if need be–blocking. Even people I love. Even people I’m friends with. You know why?
1. Because I can.
The unfriending, unfollowing, and blocking functions are all easy to find and easy to use. If something as simple as clicking a button is going to vastly improve my online experience, why wouldn’t I do it?
2. Because not doing it allows them to affect me in ways I don’t like.
Don’t tell anyone, but I’m way more sensitive than I like to let on. Bad reviews, anon hate or badly-worded criticism, fandom negativity and drama, newsfeed negativity and drama… it upsets me and sucks the energy and joy right out of me. Why would I let that happen if I could stop it?
3. Because I don’t need the stress.
I have enough stress in my life. Especially this year, oh boy. Why on earth would I add to it if I don’t have to?
4. Because my mental health is important.
I’m eyeballs deep in PPD right now. I have bad days. Really, really bad days. Allowing things in my life that make those bad days worse seems like a really stupid idea. I try not to make really stupid choices when I can see they’re stupid.
5. Because people like that need to understand their behavior won’t be tolerated.
I don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior. It took me a long, long time to learn this lesson. I don’t like rewarding poor behavior with the attention that person so desperately craves. Unfollowing, unfriending, and/or blocking someone allows me to disengage. They can seek attention elsewhere.