When Would You Block a Social Media “Friend”?

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/giselafotografie-2364908/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1517642">Gisela Merkuur</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1517642">Pixabay</a>
Image by Gisela Merkuur from Pixabay

There is so much anger, hatred and strife in the world today that it can be difficult to find a safe haven from negative news. What is nice about social media (sometimes) is that you can choose who’s news and updates you want to see. The problem is that not everyone who is pleasant in person is positive to be around online.

For instance, many of my Facebook friends are bilingual. Often they will post updates about family, friends and work in Spanish first and then in English to accommodate all of their friends and acquaintances. More than once a mutual “friend” posted intolerant, almost racist comments in response to their posts. Frankly, it was because they were too unobservant to realize that the English translation was underneath – not to mention Facebook would have translated for them. Then they started posting comments demanding, not asking, who the people in the pictures shared were because “they don’t like to be left out”. Toxic much?

What tipped the scales for me was when the comments turned judgmental. Rarely do I post the chain letter type posts, but the friend who had posted it I had known since I was a young girl so I thought it would be nice to play along. Honestly, if I don’t think I have the time to comment, share and repost I won’t even react to the post since I’m not willing to participate in the chain. So I posted my picture comment, shared the post and edited the OPs original text. It was a bit on the negative side saying people are incapable of following directions SO I basically said I had more faith in my friends and posted. The scathing, critical comment that came within minutes of posting a more positive version of the chain post made my blood boil. I would have preferred being ignored to being put down. The irritating, condescending, racist and intolerant comments had finally been enough. I didn’t respond. I just blocked.

Facebook is notorious for negativity stuffing the content we see and trying to stir up controversy. The last thing I need is for someone who I thought to be a kind, thoughtful, loving person to use the platform to berate and insult others. Not only did I not want this person to be my online friend I did not want to see the negative comments they posted on my actual friends’ feeds. I couldn’t just unfriend; I had to block.

1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits,” even online.

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