Iain Simpson

Some stuff that probably isn't very important.


My friend Matt's article about Letting go contained the apparently controversial section:

I’m also letting go of second chances. One strike and you’re out. We all make conscious choices, all the time, regarding what to expose ourselves to – and I think we should be doing it for people too.

This seemed to hit a nerve with a few people here. Matt is likened to Ebenezer Scrooge - selfishly hoarding his time (and ruining Christmas?).

What exactly is miserly about focusing your time on things you enjoy, and cutting out the things that you don't? The simple answer is of course that it's not; the real reason for this attack is a sense of entitlement.

I'm in the lucky (I think, anyway) position of having a relatively obscure presence on Twitter and other social media. I follow people that I find interesting, and I occasionally prune that list, generating no ill-feeling that I'm aware of. I don't have anything particularly interesting to say, and nobody really looks to me for validation or reassurance.

It must be incredibly wearing to have every banal comment retweeted, favourited, and replied to. Hordes of followers hanging off every sneeze, stutter, and bowel movement. These people feel connected, and entitled to comment on things that you would never normally discuss with a stranger.

Why shouldn't someone make use of their block button if they feel that your tweets are a burden? Why do you deserve a second chance? Should people keep score of how many chances each of their followers has left before blocking?

The ability to block someone would be a superpower if it existed in the real world. No court order, no having to justify yourself to a judge or the police. This person makes me uncomfortable - blocked.

Nobody should have to put up with unwanted contact.

If the laws of your country say that you have the right to freedom of speech, I doubt very much that they also compel everyone else to listen to you.

Saying what you want may be a right, but being heard is a privilege.

What right do you have to shove your words into someone else's eyes or ears?

Absolutely fucking none.

Comments, criticism? I'm on Twitter, but you can also email me.