Social media is a place where we should first seek to be light and salt to a world that needs Jesus.
I don’t block a lot of people on Twitter.
But sometimes I do, and people ask me why.
First, I found Jonathan Merritt’s article on how he mutes some and not others to be helpful. Merritt explains,
“The biggest reason not to block is that it often makes matters worse by adding fuel to the fire. It gives the critic a reason to keep attacking you. They’ll tell all who will listen that you simply can’t take criticism, and you’ll end up looking like a petty child with your index fingers showed into your ear canal. And they will use it to perpetuate their own narrative of victimhood.”
Merritt hits a crucial point here: Some people see blocking as a vindication; that they bested you and as a result you fled the field of battle. While I have a combative instinct to not give in, we need to realize that these trolls will claim victory no matter what we do.
More importantly, I am hesitant to block because I remain committed to good and healthy dialogue. I have never blocked someone because he or she has disagreed with me. On the contrary, I find that on rare occasions my thinking can be sharpened and my blind spots uncovered by thoughtful responses from other viewpoints. This is one of the benefits of the medium and that continues to draw me back into conversation despite its flaws.
Social media is a place where, first, we seek to be light and salt to a world that needs Jesus, and second, where we are to allow others to share their own considerations as we ourselves speak into various events and conversations.
So, why do I block people?
To be honest, I actually don’t generally reply to that question on Twitter, because then the conversation becomes, “Well, prove that I did this or that…” …