Feel Free To Block, Mute Or Delete People In Your Social Media Circles

Back last November after the elections I seriously gave thought to the idea that I was going to kill all my social media accounts and go on my merry way. I’m not gonna lie; I was depressed after the elections but I started getting depressed and anxious before them as well. I knew what was coming; the Spidey senses are almost never wrong, as much as I sometimes wish they were.

peaceful baby

In the end I decided that I was going to stick around because there’s a lot of good things I want to see and participate in, along with the fact that I love writing on my own blogs and sharing them with others. If I’d closed down all my accounts I could still write, but writing without promotion is a prescription for failure (unless you’re pretty famous or extremely pretty lol).

What I did instead was more of what I’d previously done; I went into each of my social media accounts and started blocking, muting or deleting people whose content I no longer wanted to see, or didn’t want them seeing any of mine. I say it that way because you can’t mute or block people on all social media platforms and sometimes you don’t actually want to delete certain people for your own reasons. On a site like LinkedIn however, your only choice is to delete someone; I could live with that. 🙂

In my opinion, if you’re not enjoying social media you shouldn’t be on social media. If you enjoy it but you don’t enjoy some of what you see, you have ways to get around that.

Facebook gives you tons of options when it comes to categorizing people whose content you don’t want to see that often. There’s always FB Purity, an addon you can download into your browser (at least on Firefox and Chrome; I don’t know what Macs use) and sculpt your feed further to eliminate topics and other stuff you don’t want to see or hear.

Twitter now allows to not only block words, phrases and people. You can mute people instead of blocking them, then sit back and laugh to yourself because those people aren’t told you’ve muted them, so if they’re still trying to communicate with you they’re never going to know it. I use that one when people start irritating me and I can’t get rid of them but want to get at them; yeah, that’s a bit mean. Most of the time I just block them and get on with life.

LinkedIn, which used to only be for business purposes but is now trying to become Facebook, only gives you one option; deleting people. Since I’m the guy who remembers people’s unethical behavior, and realize that I would never work with any of those people, I figure there’s no reason to stay connected to them so out they go… and I never look back.

Before I go further, let me share a couple of things with you. The first is from one of my online friends, Sheryl Loch:

So many people just sit happily in their own little echo chamber. They only associate with people who have the same ideas and beliefs as they do, because it is the easy way to go.

When all you ever surround yourself with are people who reassure you that you are right, you never have to face questions. You never have to have proof and backup your thoughts or feelings. This is the easy path! You don’t even have to think for yourself, you just let others do it and you all agree and follow along.

Step out of that echo chamber and have some original thoughts, think about the reasons you believe certain things…are the reasons valid and can you back them up? Or are you just parroting what others have said?

Jump over and play devil’s advocate even if it is just debating with yourself. Then expand your circles and include those that WILL question what you believe.

The second is from another of my online friends, Ann Zuccardy:

“I just changed my entire worldview because you lambasted me and showed me the light on Facebook!” (said no one ever)

I’d say these are two sides of the same coin. Both are right, but we all can’t live both of these at the same time. For the most part I block things I don’t want to see, and most of that is stuff I know I’m not going to agree with because it’s going to make me angry. People like to say that we should listen to what people on the other side have to say; but I already know what they have to say because they’ve already said it. I’m under no obligation to have to hear it again; this part of the universe is my world, and my world wants peace, happiness and chocolate.

I also block and mute a lot of stuff I agree with because one can only be inundated with people who agree with you but take it to the extreme for so long before you’re angry again. The past week’s been tough because of the Charlottesville disaster and the one thing I knew I’d keep following was anything that had to do with diversity issues. Even there I had to get away from some of it, and I’ve only seen one video (which was horrific enough). I’ve seen nothing about it on Facebook because it’s easy to block there but it’s been hard to escape from on Twitter; oh well, nothing’s perfect.

Let’s end this article like this; figure out your comfort level with your social media accounts, take steps needed so you don’t get caught up in feelings you’d rather not deal with online, and get back to being more content. Don’t think twice about any actions you end up taking; no one else is going to care whether or not you’re happy so it’s all up to you. 🙂
 

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16 comments on “Feel Free To Block, Mute Or Delete People In Your Social Media Circles

  • I recently dropped the banhammer on someone on my facebook feed. He posted some unfunny joke about the Ariana Grande concert incident. I just don’t understand some people.

    Reply
  • I have blocked, unfriended and removed some toxic people from my social media life and will not hesitate to do so again, I don’t need them in my life.
    Rummuser recently posted…Rain.My Profile

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  • One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned on social media Mitch is you can get clear enough – by being open-minded – to field most questions or comments a bit different than your viewpoint….and that you can block someone in a split second when they cross the line and become hateful, angry or boorish.

    Fine art it is, because I do get how we all have a bad day sometimes, or a moment. But when you have not built a bond with someone, and fire off a nasty, angry barb, then ya get das boot from me LOL. Nothing personal, ever. Just a time and energy saving element on my end and it also helps the other party we see is not a match.

    LOL on Ann’s “said no one ever” hahaha! But in truth Mitch, I did thank someone who blew me out of the water when I asked a question on Facebook once, in terms of some blunt feedback. Because his feedback led to me picking the name “Blogging From Paradise” for my current blog, 3 years ago when I created it, and BFP has worked out dang well for me.
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…11 Poisonous Blogging Stories To Release ImmediatelyMy Profile

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    • Thanks for your comment Ryan. I have to admit that these days I try not to entertain most of these conversations that relate to politics or religion because there’s never any real agreement… sometimes even with people you agree with. It was a lesson I should have learned years ago, but sometimes I’m slow on the uptake. lol Richard Pryor once talked on how conversations often start off as friendly disagreements and suddenly escalate into arguments, especially when one party goes over the top with name calling. As much as I can, I work on not allowing anything to get close to that point; at my age now it’s not worth the effort any longer (and it keeps me from doing “evil”… which I’ll admit I used to do in the 90’s & early 2000’s… lol)

      As for blunt feedback… not sure if you’ve ever read anything from my business blog, where I mainly talk about leadership, but I’ve often found that the majority of people who offer blunt feedback can’t take it themselves, and I don’t even give people the opportunity to be blunt with me because I’ve never done that to anyone in those years when I was in leadership positions. Of course, there are different degrees of “blunt”, so I’m assuming that if you got something positive out of it that the other person still offered a sense of decorum in his assessment… at least I hope so.

      I love what both Ann and Sheryl had to say. Amazing how two people can both be right when their concepts are such a dichotomy, isn’t it? 🙂

      Reply
  • Thanks for these tips. Yes, it was so hard to be on social media the last quarter of 2016. Instead, when I was on FB, I would just go to my groups where the conversation was very targeted to a specific niche. I didn’t even realize we had all these blocking options available, so thanks for sharing that. I know it will come in handy, because there’s always something going on.
    Rich Witt recently posted…7 mistakes to avoid when you’re thinking of selling your Long Island house for cashMy Profile

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    • No problem Rich. I don’t think most people know about all these things, which is why I try to alert them about it. Good luck, because it can take a bit of time to get it set properly.

      Reply
  • Honestly Mitch I don’t understand how some people let social media run their lives. I spend very little time on social media.

    When I go on Facebook I look through the first few posts. If I like what I see I give it a like. If I really like it I leave a comment. If I don’t like it I ignore it and move on.

    Reply
    • That’s true Rahul. Social media can be fun and educational but it can also be a time suck, depressing and get us angry. I try to stay away from the angry part as much as possible but sometimes you just have to call out the stupid! lol

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