I've been on the internet for a while, hell, I remember when the internet didn't exist, but that's not really the point. What is the point is the interesting phenomenon of how much our self worth can be so wrapped up into something so unreal. Granted, as human beings, we crave acceptance, by our families, friends, and society (excepting sociopaths, but even then...).
Take for instance, Facebook. Recently, I unfriended someone that I have known since childhood. We were friends in real life, of a sort, however, his comments on my posts were very judgmental and rude to the point that several people were commenting to me about them. So, I did the only thing I could think of, I didn't confront him on his behavior, I unfriended him and deleted all of his offending posts on my wall. In a sense saying, I reject you, I don't think you are worthwhile. Honestly, I don't know if he even noticed. To my knowledge, Facebook doesn't tell you when someone has unfriended you. That connection just gets lost. It disappears into the ether and nobody notices its passing.
The true reason for this post is that today, I was blocked from following someone on Twitter. Those of you who use it, know that it occasionally stops you following people for various weird reasons and occasionally you have to go through a fix those connections. I've had a couple people disappear off my follow list and had to retrieve them (speaking which, if I am following you and suddenly am not, please let me know). Anyway, I was going through my list and realized that I had stopped following someone that I was really interested in following. When I went to follow them I got a very peculiar message:
My initial response was: Huh? Is this a bug? Then it started turning toward, self doubt and recrimination. What did I do wrong? Did I say something really rude? Was I obnoxious? Did my goofy behavior somehow offend this person? Needless to say, my mind has be plagued with these thoughts all afternoon. It got to the point were I even sent this person an email apologizing if they felt I had said anything inappropriate or bothersome. I don't normally have these self-destructive thoughts (not like I used to), but they do happen. I haven't heard back from this person, and part of me is worried that they will say "yes, I blocked you because you annoy me." I'm hoping that it is ultimately a misunderstanding as I hold this person in high regard.
Anyway, it is interesting that our self-worth is so wrapped up in how many people follow us or friend us. Up to this point, I didn't think mine was. After all, I am a fairly well adjusted human being (now). I realize that these feelings will pass eventually, but it is still unsettling that I could be affected by something like this.
What would you do if someone blocked/unfriended you? How would you feel? If you could talk to them, what would you say? Food for thought.
'Till next time.
UPDATE: Spoke with the person in question and it was an accidental blocking. Yay! I'm not on their hate-list! It also helps that the downward spiral has stopped.