To Block or Not to Block?

Why blocking your critics can hurt you more than it hurts them

Denise Shelton
5 min readMay 22, 2024
Image created by author using NightCafe AI

“Not all the songs of earth, not all the stars of heaven, could fill your emptiness.” — Ursula K. Le Guin

If you express your opinions, ideas, or creative efforts online, whether for fun or profit, it won’t be long before someone throws you a digital dig. Jumping into the culture wars can get nasty faster than Jägerbombs get downed at a frat party.

Most of us are familiar with the amount of hostility that can be unleashed online even if we aren’t the target, particularly in an election year. We’ve been at this “us and them” thing for a while now. Whether we’re talking gender, lifestyle, sports, music, comic books, or breastfeeding in public, there’s someone out there just itching to “own” you.

When they do, our first impulse is to send those wounding words and the horse they rode in on into the void. I get it. I’ve done it, but hold onto your hide and block buttons; there’s a good reason why it might be better to refrain from closing the iron door too quickly.

Burns come in all shapes and sizes

One simple word can send a poster or content creator into an emotional whirlwind. Here are some examples: