The Psychology Behind Digitally Blocking and Unblocking

Last Update on February 16, 2024 : Published on February 18, 2024

Has someone ever blocked you over social media or virtually? If not, then either you are not active on social media, don’t interact with people often, or you must be doing something worthwhile and don’t have time for social media. However, if yes, then here comes the next question. Are you still blocked, or were you unblocked after some time?

Whether you are still blocked, unblocked, or were blocked, then unblocked, and now again blocked, this pattern of blocking and unblocking is confusing. Sometimes, you know why someone has blocked you, but most of the time, the reason is unknown, and you keep on guessing why someone has blocked you.

You are left with unanswered questions and a whole lot of mixed signals. You do not have clarity about what went wrong that the other person had to block you. Let us try to navigate through this digital confusion and understand why someone blocks and unblocks you or anyone else, for that matter.

What is the Psychology behind Digitally Blocking and Unblocking a Person?

Social media platforms are a great way to connect with people virtually. Through it, you can not only share your memories, joys, sorrows, and what’s happening but can also block and unblock people from your digital life. Say, for instance, you want someone to stop contacting you on social media platforms; you can block them, and they can do the same.

However, after a while, if you miss them or want to contact them, you can unblock them and then again can block them if you want. It is like a vicious cycle where you allow and disallow people virtually to be part of your life. But why do you do it? Is it because there is a feature and you want to use it, or is there some psychology behind this pattern of blocking and unblocking?

Well, one can see this behavior as a tool for digitally setting boundaries with another person. Like in real life, we set a boundary with a physical barrier; similarly, in the virtual world, this boundary is set by blocking.

Blocking is a defense that expresses how a person feels towards another person and doesn’t want to interact with that person. Meanwhile, unblocking means that communication lines are open and chances of resolving an issue are there. This helps one understand if there is a chance or if things are doomed.

How Does Blocking and Unblocking Define the Relationship Dynamics?

When a person is blocked digitally, a message is sent that the other person wants to discontinue the communication. To some, it is a way to gain attention, but for some, it is a serious step, and they want to end the relationship. Whatever the reason, blocking and unblocking certainly modifies relationship dynamics.

The person who gets blocked might feel neglected or disrespected by this action. Even if the person is unblocked after a while and doors are open for communication, there is a probability that the person might have moved on. This can be heartbreaking for the other person who thought blocking might help. Instead, they drifted apart.

Therefore, before using social media tools to express your feelings and emotions, know how deep your connection and understanding is with the person. If unspoken communication works, this feature can work wonders; however, if your partner needs verbal communication, think twice before you block and unblock them. Otherwise, you might be like Ross and Rachel of friends (pun intended)

Furthermore, blocking might signal to the blocked person that the other person does not want to listen to their part of the story or communicate with them. This means they will be ignored, and all their attempts will fail, making them feel disrespected, and they might move on.

Remember, blocking is assertive and intense, whereas ignoring is passive, hence before using this social media feature to block them from your virtual life, try ignoring their messages. Both techniques serve the same purpose of stopping communication.

Therefore, analyze things before you hit that block button on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media. After a while, you might calm down and unblock the person, but there is no guarantee that the blocked person will be waiting for you.

Blocking displays the power dynamics between two people. The person who blocks can block and unblock the other person, stop the communication channel as they wish, and unblock it when they are in a better emotional state. This might not be healthy for your relationship, so think things through.

Reasons Why Someone Blocks And Unblocks You

1. Mind games:

There can be a chance that the person who blocks you digitally is playing with your mind. They might want to evoke a response from you. Their behavior of blocking and unblocking might confuse you, but by doing this, they are trying to control your mind and stimulate your responses by playing psychological games.

2. Seeking attention:

One of the reasons why this feature is there and people use it is to catch your attention. When they block you and, after some time, unblock you, you approach them and ask for a reason for this behavior. That would normally be a person’s reaction to knowing why any person has blocked them for the matter. This fulfills the blocker’s agenda of getting attention from you.

3. Missing you:

One might reconnect with you when they miss you. The only way to reconnect with you digitally would be to unblock you. They need you to be part of their virtual world again, so they unblock you. The power to reconnect lies with the blocker, but after unblocking, the ball would be in your court, whether you want to reconnect with the blocker or not.

4. Change of emotions:

When someone unblocks you, they want to reconsider their relationship. Human emotions are fragile, and they change without a time limit. It could take a few seconds or years; you never know. Once their emotions change while blocking you, they unblock you.

5. Realization:

When people realize they have made a mistake when they blocked you, they unblock you. This realization happens when they reassess their actions and conclude they went too far with blocking. By unblocking, they try to correct their mistakes and repair the connection that they might have damaged.

6. Temporary time-out:

In today’s virtual world, anyone can say anything from behind the screen. That often leads to heated arguments online. One easy escape from these situations is to block the other person. When you feel like the situation is under control and conflicts can be resolved, the blocker unblocks the other person.

Blocking and Unblocking is not a Game

In today’s virtual world, gauging someone’s feelings from behind a screen is hard. Whenever we want to disconnect with a person, we just block them. Whenever we want to reconnect with them, we simply unblock them. All these actions without considering the other person’s point of view or how the other person might feel.

This feature has its pros and cons psychologically. It is a powerful tool to protect your peace of mind from unwanted digital interactions. On the other hand, it may disrupt another person’s peace of mind from thinking about what they did wrong to get blocked. You may patch things up after unblocking, but you never know when it is too late, and the other person is not ready for this now.

In situations like these, where there is a need to block someone and avoid any kind of interaction with them, one should reconsider their thoughts before taking this step. If you can ignore that interaction and take some time off, opt for that choice. Blocking someone is rude and changes the dynamics of a relationship.

One should consider it the last resort. If you want a time out, just disconnect from your phone, go for a walk, play your favorite sport, or simply meditate. Next time you connect with your phone, you will have a fresh perspective and a better mood, which saves the relationship from unwanted issues that can arise from blocking.

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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