Every year I take a break from blogging for the last two weeks of December. I will be sharing some of my old favourites in the meantime and will be back in January with new material. This post was originally published on March 19, 2015.
One of the reasons why I enjoy following CantrellJason on Twitter so much is that he always has something thought-provoking to say. Today’s blog post is a response to something he wrote earlier this week. To summarize his post in one sentence, he believes that blocking people online has become a way for people to avoid conflict.
There are a lot of things I agree on with him. Most of the people I follow online are politically and socially progressive. This isn’t something that’s restricted to just one group. It’s ridiculously easy for all of us to surround ourselves with so many likeminded people that we never hear other points of view.
Is this necessarily a good thing? No. Every group – whether it’s religious, political, or social in nature- has weak spots. Isolating yourselves from anyone who could point out where and what they are only makes it easier for them spread.
Here’s the thing, though: there are only so many hours in a day. Most of them are already spoken for due to work and family obligations, our biological need for sleep, and the empty shelves in the fridge that make figuring out what to eat for dinner a real chore.
Some people relish the thought of filling those last few hours of the day with longwinded debates. I have several friends who fit into this category. I don’t understand why this appeals to them so much, but I’ve seen them do it for so many years that I just have to assume they’re wired a little differently than me. 🙂
Not all of us are like that. I’ve already spent countless hours explaining my sexual orientation and (lack of) religious beliefs to people both on and off the Internet. Their responses range from hostile to curious to indifferent, and there is no way to predict ahead of time how they will react.
After a while you grow very tired of talking in circles.
Sometimes block buttons are incredibly effective tools for ending conversations that never end on their own. Not everyone in this world will understand or even wants to understand. Some of them just like to argue. Others are convinced they can change you or your opinions if they press hard enough
This isn’t something I do lightly. There are several other steps I walk through first before hitting that block button, especially when the person on the other end is someone I consider a friend.
There’s no shame in dropping the rope.
In certain situations, that’s all you can do.