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?