I used to not block or mute, whether it be on Facebook or on the comments section of my blog or even email. I imagine this a bit of both innate curiosity about what people are saying and a feeling that people are somehow owed the right to speak. It’s not a not a violation of free speech, because I am not a government, for me to block them, especially on my own personal accounts, but it somehow felt wrong and distasteful.
I had blocked the occasional over eager ex or outright spammer but never anyone for annoying me, threatening me or hurling abuse at me. I felt they somehow had the right to the conversation.
At some point, this changed. I don’t know if it was having controversial pieces published in magazines with a wide circulation or an eventual wearing down of positions or just age, but I have started blocking all the people.
I unsubscribe with a vengeance to people on Facebook. I’m friends with 580 people on Facebook but I probably only see posts from 200 or so. I have a scorched earth policy with Trump supporters, homophobes, racists among others. I mute on Twitter the second anyone pops up with anything even mildly annoying. There’s 7 billion people on the planet. I’m not going to miss anything by not listening to a few hundred of them. Oh and people who find my name on an article I’ve written and email me repeatedly to complain? Gmail filters that straight into the trash. I never see it. Same with crazy relatives.
Now the trick is to figure out how to do this in real life.