Do you remember those glorious days of old, when you could tell someone that you never wanted to see them again, and that was the end of the relationship? All you had to do was stop going over to their house, and it was like they had never existed at all. Things are a little more complicated now. When you decide that you’re really and truly done with someone’s bullshit, you have to go through a few extra channels to make sure they’re really out of the picture.
You have to block them on Facebook.
Or I should say, you get to block them on Facebook. There’s a cathartic finality to kicking someone out of your digital sphere. It’s like you slammed the door right in their face. It’s empowering. And oftentimes, it’s a relief to know that that’s the end of that.
But the problem is, it never really is the end of that. A few snafus tend to arise after you block someone on Facebook, and they can really put a damper on your newfound liberation.
1. You’ll Have No Idea Where They’re Going To Be
Where was the last place you went that wasn’t organized by a Facebook Event? That’s just life now. That’s how you find out the What, the Where, and the When of every major social occasion. But most importantly, it’s how you figure out the Who. We’ve all thought about going to an event, and then seen that someone we can’t stand already rsvp’d on the Facebook page. It’s a little bit of a bummer to know this beforehand if you were really excited about going, but at least now you’re making an informed decision about what kind of night you’re going to have.
As soon as you block someone, you lose this valuable insight. Is your ex-boyfriend going to be at the bar where your friend’s band is playing? Maybe yes, maybe no. You’ll be the last person to find out, and it’ll be when you physically bump into him on the dance floor.
2. It’s Awkward As All Hell When You Get Tagged In The Same Post
It’s pretty simple to ask your friends not to invite you and that guy you don’t like to the same parties anymore. But it’s pretty complicated to attempt to let every single one of your mutual friends on Facebook know that you don’t want to get tagged in the same funny meme as him. Being tagged in the same post probably doesn’t sound like a big deal. It’s a little uncomfortable having their name pop up, but it’s not the end of the world. Except for one problem. You know how their name appears as regular text instead of a link, so you can see that they were tagged but you can’t access their profile? Yeah, your name does the same thing on their end. I hope that person was already aware of the fact that you blocked them, because otherwise everyone’s world is going to get flipped upside-down real quick.
3. You Won’t Be Able To Follow A Conversation If They’re Commenting
Apart from the misadventures of mutual tagging, blocking means that you’re not going to see any of this person’s activity on Facebook. Even if they’re commenting in the same thread on the same post that you are. Even if other people in the conversation are responding directly to them, you’re going to miss out on all the connecting comments. There’s a very real possibility that you’re going to have no idea what’s actually happening in a conversation that you’d like to participate in, because you can’t even see half of what’s being written. Or, worse: there’s a damn good chance that you’ll reply to a comment chain not realizing that they were the last person to make a comment before you did, and now to everyone else it looks like you’ve said something at best nonsensical, or at worst pretty shitty, and you’ll have absolutely no idea that it happened.
4. You’ll Still Get Notifications If They Post To One Of Your Groups
There was actually a lie contained within the explanation of that last heading. Do you know what it was? It was, “blocking means that you’re not going to see any of this person’s activity on Facebook.”
Kind of a big one, don’t you think? Arguably the main point of blocking someone?
If you’re both members of any of the same groups, you’re still going to get a notification every time they make a post to it. Your only recourse is to turn off notifications for the entire group. So you have two options. One, you can get excited to be notified that there’s a new post, and then open your phone only to see that it’s from the one person you absolutely did not want to hear from. Or two, you can wall yourself off from the group communications, try to remember to check periodically to see what’s going on, and still get slapped in the face with posts by this person, because it’s not like they suddenly stop appearing….even though you blocked them.
5. Every Time You Block Someone Else, You Get A Fun Reminder
Have you ever noticed what happens when you block someone on Facebook? The page redirects you to your privacy and security settings, and it shows you a list of everyone that you currently have blocked.
Facebook waits until you’re at your lowest point, so completely frustrated with someone’s behavior that you can’t take it for another second, and then it decides to remind you of every other time you’ve had that feeling.
Uh oh, says Facebook, did you have a huge fight with your best friend? Let me show you the best friend before that one so you can remember that all of your friendships eventually fail! Hey, did you find out your boyfriend cheated on you? Here, let me remind you of the other ex that cheated on you, and the girl it was with- I’ll even put their names right next to one another since you blocked them at the same time!
There are so many flaws in the system that sometimes I get the feeling Facebook is doing it on purpose. Trying to trick me into being mature, realizing that I can’t just run away from my problems, and learning coping strategies for getting along with people instead of just blocking them.
I’m so against that idea that even knowing about these five hidden pitfalls, I’d still block anyone who suggested it.