To Block or not to Block?


tots100 twitter etiquette[Shared by Grenglish]

Someone has blocked me on Twitter.

Not just unfollowed me, but actually gone into their personal settings and stopped me from being able to follow them.

The first I realised of this was when I went to follow this person and was denied access at the request of the user.

My first instinct was to worry about what I had done wrong.  I even tweeted as much.

I do not know this person in real life, so know that we have not had a real life falling out.

I am also pretty certain that I have never tweeted with this person directly, so can’t have had a Twitter falling out either.

All I can guess from the situation is that perhaps this person was initially following me and I maybe tweeted out something that caused offence.

Looking back over my timeline, it could have been one of my many tweets about crisps, chocolate, Eastenders or wine that is responsible for this online cold shoulder.

But, who knows?

It is so easy to misunderstand what is correct Twitter etiquette, as it is something that varies from person to person.

For example, I do not like my timeline to be full of competition ‘RT to win’ messages and I find the unfollow button really useful in preventing those.

I have also learnt that if you feel you have something to contribute to an existing twitter conversation between two or more people, it is polite to prefix your tweet with *butting in*.  Failure to do so, could result in them moving the conversation to a quieter corner of the internet via the Direct Message feature.

It also considered bad manners to ask someone to retweet something if you have had little or no interaction with them previously.  The general guide being to start a dialogue with your potential retweeter first.

This can be easier said than done.

I have sent many budding conversation starters out into the Twitterverse only to be met with a big fat silence.

I apply my own personal ’3 strikes and you’re out’ rule in these circumstances.  See, even I have my own idea of what is deemed appropriate twittering…

Twitter is a wonderful place to hang out when everyone is saying hello, telling everyone else how fab you are and *sending cake*.  But, it can also feel like the loneliest place in the world to be when nobody knows your name.

There are so many messages trying to get across.  So many voices saying LISTEN TO ME.  It is not always easy to be heard if you do not have anything funny or clever to say.

However, I try not to take these things too personally.  I may have unintentionally broken a few twitter laws, but I can’t be online all of the time; I can’t keep up with all of the conversations; and I can’t be expected to understand how to properly use Twitter in only 4,108 tweets.

I understand this might result in an Unfollow here or there and that is fair enough.  Your timeline, your rules.

But, we’re not talking about a simple Unfollow though are we.  This was a full-on block.

Maybe the reason for the twitter freeze was not actually over anything I said on Twitter at all.

Maybe it was something I blogged about… but we all know I mostly write about sausages and wine, with the occasional story about poo thrown in.

Maybe this person does not like poo…

The plot thickens.

It could be a comment I left on another blog.  I do hope not, as it takes me a long time to compose a well thought out comment and I would be mortified to think I was hurting any feelings.  That is really not who I am, which is why I think I am so baffled by the action.

I go out of my way not to cause offence online.  I may have not followed correct Twitter or Blog etiquette at all times, but that is more out of naivety than intent.

As I navigate my way through this new digital territory, where there are so many voices and so many conflicting opinions, I realise how difficult it is to get noticed online unless you have a strong view on something either way.

People love to debate, it is fun.  They look for people to agree with them, and for people to disagree with.

Most of my tweets get lost in the Twitterverse simply because they require no response.  They do not interest anyone besides other crisp/chocolate/wine/Eastenders fans, or my real life friends.

I should be wearing a beige cardigan in my avatar.

But, something I said must have had an impact on one person for them to block me and for this, I thank them.

Because maybe, in this confusing world of social media that I am still only just beginning to grasp, it does not necessarily mean that I did something wrong, but perhaps that I might have done something right.

Either that, or I bored them into it.


Every day of the week, Good Reads brings you the best and brightest content from Tots100, the UK parent blog network. Our community of more than 7,500 parent bloggers have a combined monthly audience of more than 10m readers, writing about everything from parenting to politics, food and fashion.

Discussion3 Comments

  1. Oooh interesting post!

    I love twitter and have only ever really blocked spammers or nutters. The unfollow is enough I think.

    Having said that, even unfollowing has had me in hot water with some asking directly ‘why did you unfollow?’

    My unfollow is only when a tweeter enters a gazillion competitions or RTs everything. Twitter for me is about interaction. Sharing ideas, blog posts, stories or asking for support.

    The friendships I’ve formed and support I’ve gained are fantastic and I’ve seen the support a recent fellow blogger has had going through a terrible time and it just makes me love twitter and my fellow tweeters even more.

    Don’t worry about the blocking – just carry on enjoying twitter!

  2. I smiled reading your blog, sometimes it’s strange to think we’re all sending messages out into cyber-space, sometimes looking for an answer sometimes just venting.

    I am a double-edged double-blogging example I guess.

    My primary blog (and as my twitter name suggests) I’m trying to raise awareness & acceptance of autism for my children and others. I do ask for RTs because there is a community of parents/carers that get empathy and understanding by reaching out this way.

    My other blog (again as the name suggests) is a lifestyle blog and I send out posts about all sorts, don’t publicise it as much but still enjoy it.

    So. I completely get where you’re coming from and I’ve had to block a few narrow-minded individuals who threw abuse at my kids, but on the whole, I’m a happy double-edged tweeter.

    Just replied with a virtual book (sorry) x

  3. I love the way you have written this and well done Tots 100 for plucking you out as a best read. No beige cardigan for you Mrs! Perhaps your blocker did it through naivety too thinking they were following you! Funny old world. Have followed you for a long time and plan to continue too!

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