Amy Stephen

Hacker Grandma



I have had a few people ask me why someone blocked them on Twitter. The problem is I can’t answer that question for other people. I also won’t interfere in that relationship since I would hate to have anyone do that to me. What I can do is share why I have used the block button and a little advise to help with coping.

Everyone has different reasons they might block someone. For me, there are things people do that rub me the wrong way. Depending on how serious it is, I will warn, unfollow, and then block. Whether I take that final step has to do with taking care of myself, not trying to be mean.

Getting too personal

Sometimes, people get too personal. That can manifest in a variety of ways, either by talking to me too frequently, by being too needy, by not expressing yourself with appropriate filtering.

Getting too personal might be approaching me with private messages that my husband wouldn’t be happy reading. I am happily married and not looking for an intimate relationship.

Be careful with the timing of your relationships and with making sure the other person is also interested.

Questions demanding answers!

One of my biggest pet peeves is someone responding to a tweet with “I’m not sure I agree.” or something equally passive aggressive.

I have been on Twitter long enough that I know, in these cases, I have two choices: ignore or engage in what will be twenty questions that help them make their point without sticking their neck out.

My preference is to interact with those who say it or don’t say it. I really don’t care. But, it’s really frustrating when people expect others to beg them for more. “What do you mean, I don’t know if I agree?”

Others will say something like “I didn’t read the article, nor do I know anything about such-and-such, but I don’t understand what you mean by XYZ.” Take time to read the article. Take time to Google search such-and-such. Then, if you still have a question (which most won’t if they do those basic steps), ask.

If I decide someone is worth the time and answer their questions, no matter how many questions follow, rarely does the individual acknowledge my efforts or show appreciation for my time. In the end, the same “I’m not sure I agree” is frequently said at the end and I am left feeling disrespected and abandoned.

I’ve asked questions of others and many times not gotten a response. I find this perfectly satisfactory. No one owes me a response. But, I’ve also had these folks respond to me in defense of someone else’s question that I didn’t answer.

I’m getting to the point that I ignore more frequently and unfollow more readily. If you don’t show respect, I have no time for you.

Always show respect. Do your own research. Don’t try to disagree with people publicly to gain points with others. Don’t expect more from others than you do for yourself. Thank those who do answer your questions.

Expressing hostility

The quickest way to get blocked is to call me names or resort to some type of personal attack. Also, bullies. I cannot stand to see people picking on other people. If you are mean, fuck you. Sadly, I’ve not seen anyone who is mean and bullying change. So, I block and I try to ignore (but sometimes struggle ignoring when I know they continue to pick on others.)

A friend not being a friend

The hardest unfollows and blocks are those who are actual friends. People I have known for a long time, people I would have in my home, people I love.

If you have been my friend, you’ll always be my friend. I truly only have a few real friends. I value my friends.

It takes a lot before I will unfollow a friend.

If you are my friend, I expect you to treat me with respect. I expect you to allow me to grow and change. I expect you to take me aside if you have concerns and questions. I expect you to stand by me. I will do the same for you.

Coping with the block

It can hurt to be unfollowed or blocked. There are times you won’t care. That’s fine. You don’t have to be friends with everyone.

If it’s a relationship you valued then you need to consider if the relationship was constructive, if it helped you grow and become who you are intended to be, or if it held you down.

No one can tell you why it happened. But, if you stop and think about it, you probably have a sense of what you did that was upsetting. You might feel justified in your actions, you might realize you made a mistake. Never apologize if you feel you were right but if you wronged someone, find a way to let them know you understand without cornering them.

Keep things in perspective. Sometimes, it helps to spend time with your IRL family and friends and uncouple a bit from the online world. Other times, it helps to remember friendships come and go and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just a fact of life.

If the friendship is real and you see you made a mistake, change your behavior. Giving the other party time to get over the hurt you caused is important. Find a subtle way of signaling your desire to continue the friendship. See where it leads.

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