Today’s Topic: Blocking out negativity in your life
You might have seen a similar message to this one somewhere on one of your social media platforms: “I’m sick of hearing about people who don’t care or disagree with my views about this topic! If you are one of these people, let me know so I can block you because I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life!”
Seriously? Is this what society has become? Blocking supposed friends and family members because their opinions differ from yours? What will that even accomplish?
Well, for starters, many people choose this path because it turns a social media platform into a veritable ‘safe-space’ for them to voice their own opinions without worrying about being judged or prosecuted for their views by others. If they’ve blocked those that don’t side with them, then they can feel safe knowing that they’re amongst like-minded people who think the way they do.
On the other hand, this type of behavior can also lead to delusions about the world by providing a barrier around a person’s ego. If you never see, hear, or have to interact with things that might upset you, your life is pretty sweet. Without any controversy thrown your way, you can wade through your messages, feeds, posts, pictures, etc. without a worry or care of seeing something that can negatively impact your mental state.
Yet, real life isn’t so accommodating to a person’s sensitivities. If you’re speaking to a person face-to-face and they say something you don’t agree with that upsets you, there is no ‘block’ button available to end your conversation and delete that person from your life. Sure, you can turn and walk away if it’s a friend or acquaintance, but what if it’s your boss, teacher, parent, officer of the law, or someone who you can’t just turn away from without serious ramifications?
While sitting down at a local coffee shop with a friend last week, we talked about the way some of our coworkers view social media, which is actually what sparked my need to write this Wisp. One of my coworkers posted the statement you read earlier at the top of this blog. Both of us agreed that by sharing something on social media, you should be prepared to hear people’s honest thoughts about your opinions or experiences. There are forums dedicated to showcasing people who blow up when others disagree with them on social media, and for many people the issue with blocking those that disagree with you is a hard thing to understand.
If you say something out loud in the real world, it’s just a bit of air and sound that can be easily forgotten unless it’s been recorded. When you post something online to a social media platform, it’s there for the long haul (regardless if you delete it or not, as others might save it and keep the statement alive longer than you want it to be). By trying to cut out those that may disagree with certain views, people are setting themselves up for a perfect fantasy life online and forgetting that such ‘dangers’ lurk in every corner of the real world.
By learning to take criticism, differing opinions, and other viewpoints, people can become stronger, open their minds to new ideas, and learn about themselves and the world around them. Blocking everyone but like-minded people is a great way to feel good about your online presence, but ultimately softens you and sets you up for serious upsets in real life.