Monday, August 23, 2010
To Block or Not to Block?
Ah, what goes on with one’s Twitter account during the night? Usually, I see a lot of friendly mentions, follow recommendations, thanks, and so on when I review tweets during my morning coffee. I’ll RT some of them, thank the rest. But yesterday, while several mentions were left for me (at least twenty of them), I really wasn’t too pleased about who the tweeps where.
Actually, there were several accounts mentioning me, none of which I was following. They had different combinations of “alix”, “Cancun”, and “Mexico” in them. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well, many of them had avatars featuring, well, is there something smaller than a g-string? I chose not to enlarge the avatar for a closer look.
Spent quite a bit of time blocking them all. Then, just to make sure, did a few additional searches and found more accounts associated with the ones that had mentioned me. Blocked those too. I then sent out several tweets warning others. And a few people replied; one even said they had found him too.
Speaking of scantily clad, the other day what looked like a woman in her twenties starting following me, with nothing but black tape placed horizontally in two places. I tweeted to her “get some clothes on girl; sorry, but I have to block you.” And blocked. What was she thinking?
Well, I’m just happy that all the Britney wanna-bees and beyond have pretty much disappeared from Twitter. How many times have you blocked those?
But perhaps a more interesting happening are those tweeps that follow and then unfollow you. Guess they’re trying to keep their follower count down. After the third time for many of them (yes, I do recognize a lot of them), I’ve tweeted to some and asked them why they keep following/unfollowing. Oh, you’re thinking, why do I do this? My curious nature combined with my market research background makes me question just about everything.
One gent tweeted back “girlfriend problems”. Really now? Then he started following me AGAIN. Two days later, unfollowed me. And despite whether or not he was following me, he constantly mentioned me in a tweet as someone to follow. And no, he wasn’t a spammer. Don’t confuse me tweeps; got enough on my plate; no time for shenanigans. He has been blocked.
I know some people automatically block those who have unfollowed. And this happened to me one time where I actually didn’t unfollow. Twitter must have “burped” that day. It was a tweep I didn’t want to lose. Luckily, I had her email address and wrote to her immediately. She was skeptical, but after some back and forth correspondence, believed me. We tweet often now.
When you block someone, they may never know about it, especially if they’re whammy-spammy tweeps. But this isn’t about revenge. It’s about preventing that person from becoming a part of your feed ever again. And take note, they can still run a search on you and still SEE your tweets; a not-so-happy reminder that Twitter is public. So, in essence, blocked tweeps never completely go away.
On a more positive note, you also have the option to unblock someone should you decide to “kiss and make up”. How many times have I heard from someone with an apology for blocking me in error? We’ve all done that, right?
My advice is twofold. One, if someone isn’t clothed up to your standards or is using language beyond what you are comfortable with, block them. Without a second thought. Two, consider others before clicking on block. Don’t we all deserve a fair shake? Are they a spammer? If yes, then block. Are they just a little lost in the Twitter universe and could perhaps use a little support instead of being blocked out of your life? After all, it’s a harsh world out there. Perhaps reaching out to them instead would benefit both of you.
Blocking could be viewed as an end. So you block someone. It’s done. It’s over. Kaput. But when you’ve been blocked, well, while I’ve cited an occurrence of unblocking above, that’s not “the norm”. Yeah, we’ve all been blocked. Leaves a bad taste in your mouth, for sure, since the “why me?” lingers on. And here’s the good news: It’s not important! All those tweeps that follow you and will follow you in the future deserve your attention so much more.