Our family story – social media blocking and our daughter’s anxiety

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.

 

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2 thoughts on “Our family story – social media blocking and our daughter’s anxiety”

  1. Hello Maree,

    I understand completely. The problem with social media is that objectionable comments and personal nips come right into your home where you are supposed to be safe and secure. And the snipee is safe from any repercussions because they aren’t face to face. So these people feel free to make comments that they wouldn’t otherwise make. It’s nasty and unnecessary. Also texts and Facebook comments can come across badly because you’re not face to face and different people react differently. So it can be a problem. We’ve blocked and unfriended people for these reasons. I’ve had problems myself because I tend to speak my mind. I try to think before I type now! So good luck Maree, and keep yourselves safe.

    Jo http://www.joclutton.simplesite.com

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    1. Thank you for you beautifully expressed comments and you are absolutely right.

      The decision for us as a family was difficult to make because it involved real life people known to everyone and our actions would dramatically shift dynamics. We went prepared to be vilified, ignored and dismissed, which I do believe we were. I say believe because it’s always behind closed doors, but it’s enough to understand by silent actions rather than loud words.

      That spoke volumes to our children as to where they stood in the dynamic and whether they would be supported, heard and acknowledged later on in life by other key people.

      We turned it over, we mulled it over, we looked at perspectives, we even jotted it down on paper! – it always came back to motive and intention and past history where our children were concerned.

      We also examined ourselves – have we gotten the ‘wrong end of the stick’, have we misunderstood it, taken it out of context, blown it out of proportion, were single minded etc..

      As adults, I do believe we can hold our own and give as good as we be, absolutely and I’ve also been on the other end of ‘unfriending’ because of my comments. Validated and agreed, as like you, I speak my mind – not always eloquently or diplomatically, trying to be better!

      I think however, there is another level of intention when one starts attacking, passively or directly, through captions, veiled comments or images a child. Whether it be to inadvertently ‘have a go’ at someone else…or whether it would be through personal insecurities, disappointment or having a bad day or ‘being in a bad place’

      A step was followed through when besmirching a child and a boundary crossed.

      As adults we understand the subtext have the wherewithal and emotional maturity to see an action for what it is. For a child however, its black and white. There are no politics and it opened our eyes to what we are prepared to tolerate and what we need to do to protect.

      Our children felt better without this person in our lives and so we responded. Thank you once again for commenting ❤

      Like

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