Is online blocking a sign of immaturity?
In Travis F. Smith's personal blog Unvarnished, he goes into detail about being blocked on Facebook. This specific entry of Smith's struck my fancy because just a few days ago, I was listening to my friend Sabrina talk about how a guy she used to hook up with just recently decided to block her on Facebook. Seriously? Seriously. Apparently, even though the guy claims he has absolutely no feelings for Sabrina whatsoever, and that she is in fact the one who feels a deep, emotional connection with him, he obviously can't handle seeing her in the online realm, which is why he felt the need to remove her from his friends list. Sounds to me like a child in denial.
In Smith's case, the scenario is a little different. He simply met a woman, had a brief conversation with her, and inquisitively Facebooked her and sent her a message and a little poke. (How cute!) A few months later, Smith stumbled upon the woman's name again, looked for her on the site, but then noticed she had disappeared. It finally dawned on him that he was blocked!
Aren't we getting a little old for this kind of behavior? I remember first being introduced to AIM in the seventh grade. I was on it so much, my parents started using it against me. If I wanted to go on AIM, I was forced to dry the dishes after dinner. Or, if I wanted to log on in the morning, I wasn't allowed to be a minute over my 10 PM curfew. My best middle school fights all occurred online, and the ultimate slap in the cyberspace face was being blocked. Back then, being blocked online was like being exiled. It was like, totally, the worst thing everrr!
Well, when I refer to back then, I mean back when I was about 12 years old—before I even hit puberty yet, let alone those miserable teenage years. The fact that people are still blocking friends—regardless of the issues at hand—boggles my mind.
So why do people continue to scroll their mouse over to the Privacy toolbar and choose the 'Block' option? Well, in my friend Sabrina's case, the guy was obviously in denial about his feelings towards her, so rather than facing his emotions like a man and 'fessing up to caring about her, he chose to ignore the way he felt because he wasn't brave enough to deal. That explains his choice to block her. The reasons why others decide to click on the block option may not be as complicated. For Travis F. Smith, he could have been dealing with a woman who didn't feel like increasing her number of friends.
However, there are certain exceptions, right? Here's an example: (not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything) what if your ex moved on with someone you already knew in the real world and on Facebook. Wouldn't you get a little tired of having her information pop up in your newsfeed all of the time, or constantly being reminded that they are "In a Relationship" together on FB? If you aren't best buds with this person outside of the Web, why not block? Truthfully, having your ex's new girl as your friend will only lead to stalking. And too much stalking will lead you straight to the mental hospital.
In the end, there is deep-rooted meaning behind blocking online. Whatever your reason may be, make sure it's a good one that you don't regret because asking someone to be your friend again after you've already blocked them is straight-up social suicide. Hey, there's always MySpace.