Is Medium a social media platform? I guess. I mean, sure we’re not called friends but hey, we spill our guts here and there are faceless but kind folk to spill back their guts, and we encourage each other and we hate each other, we sometimes call out on one another, we shoot praise and frowns with our busy keyboards and so many other things, which friends do. We then get back to better feelings and so on and so forth, not friends, followers and followers of followers who maybe recommend and comment but don’t follow, never mind, I still call some friendship here after all is said and done.
But then the blocking part. This is where Medium is different. You see, other social platforms don’t make it painful nor obvious that you are scapegoated or thrown out with the rest of the garbage or simply discarded as not interesting anymore. Yet on Medium you are hit in the belly by:
The attack of orphan posts
All these nice discussions all these clever replies all the passion poured in words and all the rage and sentiment all the color of the human expression disconnected, and the Persian fabric of emotional connection pulled by a thread and dismantled with the click of a simple looking button.
And you, the one that has been blocked, you see it. You see your punishment shouted back at you. You are shunned, not only by the person that blocked you but from threads of discussion, from following certain people because of simply not discovering them, from ever getting the chance to, you know, defend yourself.
I swear to god if in the 20 years of daily Internet use, from ancient forums and email lists, to today’s intricate machine learning guided networks, have I ever seen such a steep rise in online shunning in communities.
I get it. Trolls hurt. Their actions hurt. Their words hurt. We all hate trolls. I hate trolls even when I am trolling. But what makes a troll worth of a block?
Aren’t we all trolling at some point? Are we starting to troll by the means of the block?
Anyway, excuse my rant. Maybe I am butt hurt for no reason. It is just that blocking on medium is so nonsensical. I mean … blocking discussion, crippling communication, OK I get it, but removing all kinds of connections and links between articles like a real life attempt at enacting the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind is just crazy, and it inspires many fears in me.
It makes sense on Facebook, where content is secondary, where there is a like and heart currency that many times is counted in real life, but here where it is all about a white background on which I strip my mind for all to see, hoping for some bucks and a good show, it is painful to be shunned. It is like, instead of keeping your five bucks for the next show you feel the urge and act on the impulse to shout: you’re ugly, get off the stage. Why would you do that? Did anyone force you in the strip club of the mind?
It might be simply a technical fix or something, but the way things currently work one surely needs a rugged heart in Internet exposure land, and my fear is that the cynics and emotionally disconnected will eventually prevail.