community · evangelism · Facebook · Twitter

Unavoidable Blockage?

Interesting re-reading my last post after a very busy couple of weeks. My thoughts on Twitter could not be more different. If anything I am enjoying tweeting and reading tweets more than Facebook.

Perhaps this is because it is new, but then again perhaps it is because it has opened a new spectrum of networking to me. After my initial post Eutony made these comments an erudite argument I won’t try to repeat here.

You see I came to Twitter with a Facebook mindset. The more I have used Twitter over the past few weeks the more I have realised it’s strengths, how much fun it can be and the different way it connects me to others.

I have now realised how different the two sites are and that to critique them with the same value system just doesn’t work. The vast majority of the people I follow on Twitter and those who follow me are not friends or even people I have met. Yet we network in ways that would not be possible without Twitter. In contrast everyone I know via Facebook is a friend or acquaintance I have met at least once or know through other ways. As James put so well – they are very different forms of networking, both have their merits, but both are great ways to communicate.

My apologies Mr Twitter I had you all wrong.

Which leads me on to something I did this morning on Twitter. For the first time I blocked a user that was following me (OK I’ve blocked a few spammers, but this one was a genuine user).

I won’t mention their username here, but it was one that made plain a position on faith that I would not agree with. That in itself is no reason to block someone and indeed is probably against some twitt-equette code, many of the people I follow would not agree with my faith and vice versa. However when I looked at this users posts, I found them not just an atheist, but rampantly so. To me their posts were offensive and particularly anti-Christian.

Now again, I had no compulsion to follow this person, so perhaps I need not have blocked them, after all I am not afraid of the argument I can defend my faith against critics and I do not live in some psuedo-Christian bubble where I can only be friends with those who agree with my world-view. Yet I felt a certain dis-trust about this individual following my tweets.

Perhaps this is unfair. perhaps I have denied this person the opportunity to see something of my faith through the tweets I make.

I don’t know. I wonder if blocking was the right thing to do?

What am I saying about my own faith, what am I saying about how I interact with other particularly those who do not believe?

As you can tell I am still unsure whether I did the right thing. Answers on a postcard….

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3 thoughts on “Unavoidable Blockage?

  1. Like you I have had an awakening on Twitter over the past few weeks. Being able to follow comments in almost real time is quite a revelation and refreshing to have some interesting and topical tweets rather than what sometimes seems to be the rather shallow world of status updates on facebook.The question of should I or should I not block someone who’s views I find somewhat estranged to mines is an interesting one. Sometimes I have to admit even people who confess to be practicing Christians have views that I sometimes think Why oh Why!!I think there are things that we find within ourselves difficult to enter into meaningful debate with when the other person is so diametrically opposed to our view.This week someone added me as a friend on Facebook, I didn’t know this person well but when looking through their profile I stumbled across their political views and it said BNP. Everything within me said block them I find those views really offensive.For me I ask myself the question is my witness going to be helpful to them understanding my faith, entering into meaningful debate whilst still disagreeing or even better deciding that your faith has something attractive about it and deciding to make a commitment. In the world of online networking we have a wonderful opportunity to debate different beliefs and views. I would say sometimes blocking people is a useful thing a necessity even? I think an honest account on how we think when were a suddenly faced with these types of questions.

  2. I vote for an unblocking of the anonymous person!Having just got into twittering (is that the correct verb?!) and enjoying it, I too wonder if it’s just new, but see the benefits of following randoms… stephen fry (and maybe in a less cool way, fearne cotton!)However, one of the good things about twittering (gonna keep using that verb until corrected) is that other people can’t write on your wall, and thus any other posts regarding you are visible, but not so associated to you.Personally, I find engaging with views that are opposed to mine has been a huge help over the last few years. It’s be hard, very challenging, but in the long run very helpful, and what’s more I’ve learnt loads. It makes me want to get around to reading things like “the god delusion”.Anyway – that’s slightly off the point. I guess I’m just in favour of as much interaction and engagement with other world views as we get to encounter!

  3. Good points! I definitely prefer Twitter to Facebook now, which might be just the novelty factor, but I don’t think so….It seems stunningly obvious in retrospect, but I hadn’t really clocked that Twitter is principally people I don’t know, where Facebook is exclusively people I do.I also like and agree with simon’s comment that people’s responses aren’t associated with me in the same way that there are on Facebook.Re blocking of followers. Tough call. My Facebook policy is very clear; if I don’t personally know the person, they don’t get added as a friend. But then my Facebook profile is also locked down, so only friends can access it.Twitter is different, in as much as I can’t (or rather, don’t want to) stop people I don’t know from reading my tweets, so blocking a follower seems a little pointless.On the other hand, all the people following me are shown on my profile, and in some sense I might be responsible for introducing or at least making a connection between people…

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