The block button is the ultimate source of dopamine. Use it.

I’m seeing this debate pop up on Threads and Mastodon, and I’ve speed-run the whole discourse so many times from Twitter to Bluesky that I’m exhausted. But let me be clear. It's perfectly okay to use the block function on any and every single platform. Block whoever you want. Block liberally. Block joyously. It's not rude; it's not an act of censorship, and you don't owe anyone an explanation.

Our online spaces are not abstract playgrounds but extensions of our personal lives. Our interactions in these spaces profoundly affect us, either positively or negatively. Just as a kind word can brighten our day, a negative, pointless, irritating or toxic encounter – whether it's outright harassment or simply unwelcome chatter – can drain our energy and significantly impact our mental health. Blocking someone might seem like a petty act. But, fuck it. It's a way of standing up for your peace of mind.

Think about the parallels in our offline lives. Do you publicly explain why you avoid someone at a party? Do you feel compelled to justify it to the world every time you don’t answer a phone call? Of course not. The same logic should apply to our online interactions. The expectation to justify the use of the block function adds unnecessary emotional labour – and it’s invariably used to bully people into remaining exposed to abuse and bullshit. It's your right to choose who you interact with digitally, and you don't need a detailed explanation for your choices. Your online space, your rules.

Boundaries are the only way to maintain a healthy balance and protect our well-being. In the physical world, we set boundaries without a second thought – we lock our doors, choose our friends, and decide who we let in. By using the block function, you're setting a clear boundary, and in doing so, you're taking a step towards preserving your mental and emotional well-being.

There's a crucial difference between silencing someone and choosing not to engage with them. Blocking someone isn’t about denying them their right to speak. It’s about asserting your right not to listen. Consider your social media space like your home. You wouldn’t consider it censorship to close your door to a salesperson. Blocking someone from your digital space is about maintaining your peace and privacy, not suppressing their voice.

The freedom to block is a form of empowerment in an environment where we often feel powerless. The divided digital world can be overwhelming. We're bombarded with information, opinions, and interactions, and increasingly, these are harmful, upsetting or just a total waste of energy. By blocking someone, you're taking back control. You're making a conscious decision about who gets to be a part of your digital life and who doesn't.

Blocking is not about burying your head in the sand; it's a strategic decision to remove yourself from a negative situation. It acknowledges that not every battle is worth fighting and that sometimes, the healthiest option is to walk away.

Think of your digital space as a garden. Just as you would pull out weeds to ensure the healthy growth of plants, blocking negative influences allows the positive aspects of your digital life to flourish. It creates room for healthier interactions, more meaningful connections, and content that truly adds value to your life.

The block function is a valid and necessary tool for managing your digital interactions. It's an act of self-care, a way of setting healthy boundaries and maintaining your mental and emotional well-being. So, shake off any guilt or fear about using this function. Remember, taking control of your digital interactions is as important as managing real-life ones for your overall well-being. The block function is not just a feature in a world where our digital and physical lives are increasingly intertwined. It's a fundamental right to protect your peace in the digital age.

The block button is the ultimate source of dopamine. I suggest using it.

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