mardi, février 07, 2012

Unfriend, delete, block: three strikes and you're out, baby

Yesterday I stared long and hard at the name of a guy who popped up green on my gmail chat list now and then.

Then I pressed the block icon -- calloo callay, he's gone!

To understand how weird this felt, you have to appreciate that I used to view it as a last resort, to be used only if someone was harassing.

Now I'm pondering it as a potential means of self-expression -- a way of putting someone's bad behavior behind me.

In the case of this guy, he'd been very rude -- and not just once.

In the old days, I might have withheld judgment -- or waited to see if I should give him another chance.

Blocking someone, "unfriending" or dropping them from a social media site is a pretty serious statement...and it's usually a statement about you.

Depending on the circumstances, it can feel pretty hostile. So although I've been tempted before, I haven't gone nuclear.

I worry about the consequences, mostly for my own temperament.

Am I becoming a person who uses the click of a mouse rather than my brain and tongue to communicate?

I've come to the conclusion, however sadly, that there are some people who simply don't deserve my time, energy or compassion.

To hold out the hope that they will change is to sell myself short.

I don't like the "unfriend" option, so I pledge to rarely use it.

It makes me feel rather cheap, stupid and inept. As I said, it's time to look in the mirror and ask myself: could I handle this better?

But when I do, when I finally reach the point where patience and kindness evaporate like steam, I'm not looking back.

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