Currently in Kenya, social agendas have the singular ability to engage, inflame and divide people especially among the online community. As more people become “woke” on social issues, these discussions attract so many engagements as people express their different points of views. However sometimes these online debates get so heated and take a turn for the worst that some people find themselves blocked on social media by their friends.
Brenda wambui, The host and executive producer of Otherwise?– a podcast on Kenyan current affairs, seems to have fallen victim to spiteful and hateful backlash from the KOT community after her activisim opinions on work place harassment struck a nerve among some twitter followers. The misogynists crawled out of the woodworks accusing her of trolling popular men in Kenya, attacking her physical appearance, her work ethic, cognitive capability as well as her opinions in a bid to put her down. This prompted her to block and ghost most of the people attacking her on twitter.
It would appear that blocking made the matters worse, adding fuel to the fire. She got impugned by KOT for exercising her rights to choose who gets access to her twitter account. Some accused her of behaving like a child and took getting blocked on social media as a vindication that they had bested her while others hailed her for understanding that she had no legal obligation to follow anyone on any social media platform.
Getting blocked on social media is a very new part of our social lives and we often react to being blocked in a way that indicates that we haven’t fully explored how to process is it as yet. Often when people find themselves blocked, they will
- Try to rally support against the blocker
- Frame the blocker as childish and ignorant- Blocking being equated to throwing a tantrum
- Wear the block as a badge of victory
Getting blocked on social media is the ultimate way that anyone can send you a clear message that they want you gone, never to be heard from again. Blocking or ghosting- which are used interchangeably, is done in the hopes that the blocked person will get the hint and leave the subject alone as opposed to the subject telling them he/she is no longer interested.
The most obvious reasons that people block each other on the various social media platform are relationship breakups. They do it for the simple reason that they are not interested in what the other person is up to and wouldn’t want their ex’s to know how life is going on for them. However there are other groups of people who are blocked for their crude usage of the different social platforms. These are five of the reasons why you are likely to get blocked on social media platforms.
You behave as a Troll
These are the people who upset people or start quarrels on the internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory or digressive messages with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses. Making a snarky comment because you can, especially when you do it time and time again, will get you no friends. In fact, it’ll get you unfriended more times than you can count. You will become “that person” who makes people cringe with your online posts.
Using an Anonymous account
People want to be anonymous for different reasons. But sometimes, people will create fake accounts in order to be someone they aren’t and vent about specific issues. Many online users want to know someone who disagrees with them so that they can take them seriously. If you can’t put your name on what you say, you shouldn’t say it. This is called having integrity.
Tagging on a post to increase visibility
Many people on Twitter tag themselves on a tweet just to get into the conversation thread, which is allowed: It’s a way to get your point across. However, many people get blocked on social media by tagging themselves in online conversations over and over, doing it as a troll, or to attack people on the thread. This is definitely a sure way to get blocked.
Intentionally twisting things
This one happens a lot especially on Twitter. It happens inform of a Twitter-swarm, where one person intentionally misrepresents what one said, then another responds to what they said, then another responds, etc. .It’s like watching a slow-motion train wreck of outrage. These are the people who are never interested in dialogue—they just want to make their point by misrepresenting others’. That’s why they get blocked on social media platforms.
Profanity in Your Language
People who use profane language in their online conversations are usually blocked on social media without a second thought. Overly sexual language, racial slurs, abusive language all fall under the category of profanity.
We should all strive to develop a framework for healthy social media engagement. There is a lot of potential in social media. Sometimes you may find your thinking sharpened and blind spots uncovered by thoughtful responses from other viewpoints. By getting blocked on social media platforms, you lose an opportunity to engage with people with the capability to change your life for the better.