I come in peace

I feel like the Internet doesn’t understand me.

Actually, I don’t doubt that this is the case, but I don’t feel like I’ve been given a chance to explain myself either.

Why so cryptic, Jenn? Well, in the last few years, I’ve found myself getting blocked by other users on Twitter and Instagram. Upon discovering that I’ve been blocked, all I can do is scrunch up my face and utter “uh, okay…” to myself while staring at the screen, perplexed. Really, what else can I do? These users found something they dislike about me and felt it necessary to block me from seeing updates on their feeds.

But I’m here now to say that I’m just a soul whose intentions are good.

With online communication, it is sometimes difficult to interpret the manner in which someone is speaking. You don’t see their body language, their facial expression, or hear the tone of their voice. You only have words on a screen to go by. Most of the time, they are a mix of lower and uppercase letters. Sometimes all uppercase when emphasis or an increase in volume needs to be conveyed. Ideally, proper grammar is used, or thrown out the window entirely.

I think that I convey myself in a manner that is easily understood, but I must come across in a negative way to some if they feel a need to block me.

I see my online self as a more outgoing, playful version of my offline self. If I’m joking around or being sarcastic, most of the time I will end my sentence with a winking emoticon. If I’m talking about a subject that I am passionate about, I will probably use capital letters to emphasize my words and end my sentences with an absurd amount of exclamation marks. Did you spell something wrong? Yeah, I will probably call you out on it, but that’s just how I am. But I assure you. I’m not a malicious, axe-murdering stalker.

I’m on the Internet to socialize, make friends, and spend an obscene amount of time browsing Reddit. I met most of my current circle of friends on the Internet — my longest friendship with an “Internet friend” has gone on for 15 years, and just recently I attended her wedding. I’ve organized meet-ups with these friends, dated a few of them as well, and I think they’d give me a good reference as far as not coming after them with an axe. ;) (<– See? I’m winking! Sarcasm!)

What really hurts is when I am blocked by bloggers that I really enjoy following who encourage their readership to follow them on Instagram and Twitter. I don’t recall saying or doing anything that would make them want to block me — I just seem to be an unwelcome part of their readership. If they encourage their readers to follow them, but block some of them, what is the point in having a public account to invite people to in the first place? I’ve stopped reading their blogs because I don’t feel welcome to anymore.

But again, this comes back to the question “What can I do?” Hopefully one day they will stumble across my little blog, get to know me better, and maybe decide to unblock me. Aside from that, I guess I will just keep being myself.

And I know that I cannot please everyone, and that I will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I just want to be your friend, damn it! ;)

Have you ever been blocked by someone on social media? How did you handle it?

5 responses to “I come in peace”

  1. As someone relatively new to southern Alberta, I have to say, I found you to be very friendly, and not at all block-able:) If you are having difficulty with social media down here it’s because it’s, um….not particularly social. Nor, engaging. THERE, I SAID IT. (of course there are a few exceptions!) It’s been quite the adjustment considering the environment I left. In the mean time, branch out to the many others across the province and country who get it, and hopefully more of the locals will get on board;) I am so glad you are blogging again!

    • Yay for not being block-able! Someday I’d love to hear more about how engaged the area around Edmonton was in social media. I didn’t think we were that bad down here! Hahaha! Thank you for your kind words. :)

      • Oh it is night and day;) Twitter Canada’s CEO Kirstine Stewart confirmed Edmonton has the strongest twitter community in Canada at a yyc conference I saw her at last spring. Stronger than yvr and yyz!

  2. I have to admit, I always find it crazy when something like that happens. I try not to block anyone except for people who are thretening physical harm or being verbally abusive to myself or my loved ones. What’s the point in blocking someone simply because they do not agree with you? How can that encourage discussion? I’ve been blocked by a few ladies in our American Ex-Pat group because they can’t get over the fact that I love my life in the UK. Fine. Block me. I actually find the blocking and unfriending humerous to a degree. Like I’m such a big bad threat you felt the need to block me? Awesome. I’ve been blocked from using a well-known immigration board simply because I stood by and supported a fellow member when SHE was getting trash talked and banned. It hurt me at the time, but I got over it. It just means they might miss out on something I have to say that could be important to them.

    • It IS crazy! I don’t block anyone unless I’ve had problems with them, and that’s maybe a handful between Instagram and Twitter.

      That’s sad that there seem to be a lot of unhappy American ex-pats living in the U.K. I’d love to live there! But you already knew that. ;)

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