Advice the World Won’t Give You (Part 6)

Dear Children,

There really isn’t a good reason to “block” someone on social media.  Ever.

People who “block” others think they’re putting up a boundary to protect themselves from the other person–because the other person is just so stupid or mean or wrong or generally tiresome that they have no choice except to build a wall.

But your mother sees things differently.

If I hear word that you cut ties with another person (unless that person poses a physical threat to you) then I will not blame THEM.

If/when you resort to blocking someone who used to be a friend, I’m going to have a talk with YOU, because I want to know:

What’s going on in your head that you’re not able to handle the stupidity or meanness or wrongness of another person, without permanently hiding? 

I’ve never “blocked” anyone on social media because I have the ability to ignore what I can’t control or confront what I think is wrong.  And, if you don’t feel strong enough to do either of those things, then we can talk about building up a tolerance until you get there.

But hiding from different views isn’t healthy.   It demonstrates that you can’t control your emotions, so you need technology to do it for you…

…by making people disappear.

You may think you’ve solved a problem.  But, a person can’t be “cured” of their road-rage if they only drive on a closed course. And likewise, you’ll never be “cured” of your sensitivity if you simply block everyone who triggers you.

That’s not a healthy solution to the root problem.

There are ways to deal with annoying, rude, and even downright HATEFUL individuals, without having to run away, dear children.  And that’s what I pray you will learn to do…because you’ll never be able to hide from them all.

  1. Ignore what you can’t control.                     OR
  2. Confront what you believe is wrong.

When you feel that you have no choice but to block someone, let’s have a conversation about why…  (We can do that as long as we leave the door to communication open by not blocking each other.  See how this works?)

If you think I’m wrong, let me know. Or ignore me.

But you have no reason to “block” me–or pretty much anyone–ever.  🙂

As always, I love you immeasurably.

-Mom

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8 thoughts on “Advice the World Won’t Give You (Part 6)

  1. Jasmine Ruigrok

    Hrm… not sure about this one. THeres a difference between blocking people who you don’t know is because you don’t like their opinion or can’t hand le their controversy, and there’s a difference between blocking friends because you had a falling out and simply not inviting unhealthy people into your life. I’ve blocked a couple of people in my life; one due to a tough betrayal that took our families in completely different directions to heal separately, and a couple of others who I knew to be information gatherers in order to share stuff with people who didn’t need to know the info. So whilst for the most part I agree here, depending on how personal your social media life is, I don’t think it’s always healthy to allow some people access to it. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s my thoughts.

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    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      I think it’s interesting that you would find “blocking” an acquaintance more of an issue than “blocking” a friend with whom you fell out…?
      My thoughts were that blocking the friends you know/knew in real life is an even bigger grievance–especially if (hypothetically 😉 ) you’re members of the same church family.

      If one of my children decides to block their own grandmother or cousin, everything I’ve written in this post would stand even more firmly. I’ve never seen anything in the Bible that says permanent ties should be cut. Ever. There always should be room for reconciliation, yet “blocking” someone, physically and emotionally, prevents that.

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      1. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Well, I know that I can’t control if/when OTHER PEOPLE do the blocking. And I also don’t expect people to spend lots of time together, if they’re not the “best” friend sort. But, as far as it depends on me, there should be reconciliation and unity within the Body. Having disputes is inevitable; but what I mean by “blocking” is essentially the friendship version of divorce. I’ve never found an occasion where I’ve been given permission by my own conscience to cut off someone else, leaving no room for reunification…
        “Blocking” is when someone puts their foot down and says, “I have nothing more to hear from or say to you EVER again.” That seems contradictory to the whole forgiveness and long-suffering thing.

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      2. Jasmine Ruigrok

        Fair enough. And motive is a huge part of it. If you’re blocking someone, or simply not allowing them to follow you just because you’re bitter and unforgiving towards them, then that’s not good justification. I do however think that it’s not healthy to have every man and his dog in your close circles. Doesn’t mean you have issue with them per se, but you simply aren’t going to benefit one another’s lives or walk by being in them. I don’t have a problem with cutting off unhealthy connections. It doesn’t have to be a grudge or personal vendetta thing, it’s just being wise. I ditched a few followers and quit following a few people the other day on Instagram simply because our presences online were not helping each other to grow because there’s no relationship there. But blocking someone because you refuse to resolve an issue is not healthy. That’s escapism.

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      3. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Not sure how I missed this comment? But thanks for leaving it! haha.
        I’m actually planning to write in the next day or two about being blocked by my former youth minister (who is now the head pastor at a megachurch nearby). I asked if we could speak on the phone and even attempted to call him, but he unfriended and then blocked me instead. This actually happened in the last week, AFTER I wrote this letter about blocking to my children, so it’s a timely example!

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      4. Jasmine Ruigrok

        Woah. For real? We both obviously have different understandings/experiences when it comes to “blocking”. Refusing to resolve something when someone is genuinely seeking reconciliation is definitely not what I have in mind. That’s pretty sad.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: God Bless Criticism | Cultures at War

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