Have you been ‘blocked’ or have you ‘blocked’ someone on social media?
From a personal perspective with a daughter who was subjected to issues which caused a “family block online” – here is our story….
For me, I used social media blocking when objectifying comments started filtering down to our children – as a comparative analysis to any given status quo or opinion. Generally in a passive, detrimental, unkind and unhelpful way.
As a family we discussed social media with our then nine year old (who was targeted by a known adult) and our eleven year old, the engagement and interaction between the semi virtual life and IRL (in real life)
The power of social media as a platform of communication is so great that one targeted (and perhaps flippant) comment caused our nine year old to vomit out of anxiety for six months (unbeknownst to us and had overheard our conversation regarding their post in reference to her academic achievements) as she struggled to understand how a known adult could ‘have a go at her’.
The intention was to hurt, the action – was violent.
Understandably comments, statuses, images and the like can get ‘taken out of context’ and can be subjective in opinions, perspectives and viewpoints – also what mood we are in and our current state of mind.
How we determined and based our decision to ‘block’ boiled down to intention, motive, purpose and their modus operandi. Looking at many viewpoints, the kids came to the conclusion that said adult is not welcome in our family anymore.
“Because seriously, what kind and loving adult ‘has a go’ (no matter how you flip it) at a nine year old (even online)? And so, as parents – we blocked.
Did it cause repercussions and ripples? Absolutely!
We’re those repercussions important to us?
We did not give it a second thought.
Violence is not just physical – it is verbal, emotional and mental. Violence isn’t always about raising your voice. It can be passive, aggressive, silent, behind closed doors, and hidden. It doesn’t make it non-violence, it makes it quiet. Ignorance doesn’t excuse it – accountability with compassion is key, I think.
Nothing, I think can surpass the safety and wellbeing of children when social media is concerned. Now that (our decision) may be a bitter pill for some to swallow because it might bum with the idea of who they purport themselves to be personally and socially. (No one wants to be a bully right?)
If the intention is to hurt – though emotional, mental, psychological means by conversation, withholding affection, silent treatment etc. You are engaging in violent behaviour by definition and whilst that is okay and justified for many – it doesn’t fly in our household and it is something we refuse to tolerate.
At the end of the day, it comes down to duty of care, safety and love – nothing more, nothing less.