Please Unblock: How to Stay Online And Not Lose Friends

Our site is dedicated to helping you live a fulfilling life with a positive outlook in today’s world. It seems only apt that we dedicate a post for exploring one of the most negative “online” behaviors today–blocking someone on social networks or on your phone.

We spend so much time on our phones; we carry out relationships with people via this little device that we always keep near us–almost as if it were a live pet. Many of us feel a little ashamed for being so dependent on a device. But this device connects us to people. As a very good friend of mine told me after she moved away for a job: “I love that you exist in my phone.”

Technology has made everything easy: dating, eating, keeping in touch. And it seems that it has also made it really easy to express your anger at someone, or to cut them out of your life.

When we get angry at someone these days, oftentimes, we don’t slug them, slam the door in their face, or even give them the finger. Instead we turn to this little button on the screen that says, so temptingly, “Block this contact.”

Haven’t you stared at this button longingly before? With the slightest touch, your finger barely grazing the slightly warm screen, you can slam the digital door in someone’s face. That’s it, they can’t text you, call you, or intrude in any form on your psychic state.

The thing about blocking is that we all think it’s so childish on some level, and yet a lot of us do it. We’ve all blocked and been blocked. Why?

Now I’m not talking about that guy who’s so eager for you to train with him at the gym that he is text-bombing your phone. I am talking about those stupid fights you have with people close to you, that ensue in one of you blocking the other.

It seems the way we use technology today primarily has to do with simplifying our lives and saving the amount of time it takes to do something.

And so it is with “block this contact.” How much time does it take to truly resolve an argument with someone? Possibly an entire lifetime! But “block this contact” makes it so easy to cut short the process of dealing with someone else by simply erasing them from your phone.  

But there are limitations to shortcuts in life. It is rather foolish to think that the entanglements you have with someone, the arguments you don’t want to lose, can just all be resolved with a simple tap of the finger. The truth is that the fights we have with someone who loves us can make us grow up a lot, they can make us see ourselves in a new light, challenge us. But this kind of fight takes TIME. They are not the kind of fight that you resolve by blocking someone.

The problem with making everything available at one’s fingertips is that we can grow so used to things being easy, fast, effortless. But fights are not easy, fast nor effortless. You can have the same fight over and over again with someone, until the message gets through. It’s frustrating and time-consuming, but you give that time to people you care about. I guess that explains the popularity of “block this contact.” As with any other needs and wants that software has anticipated, that little button saves us the work of growing up.

Sitting on a frustrating story about being blocked or blocking someone? Confess to us in our “Comments” section below!


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