Pull up a chair for some Real Talk with Old Lids. If you have a friend on or offline, and you’re scared of following/being friends with someone else you like because that friend doesn’t like them, that friend may be a toxic influence.
If you have a friend who can’t tell the difference between a personal vendetta & someone else being problematic, that person is not a friend. As soon as YOU do something they don’t like, YOU’LL be the one they call “trash”, spread rumors about & try to isolate from the community.
Similarly, if you get mad at friends or mutuals for associating with people you don’t like, examine yourself. You might be controlling, manipulative or abusive. You having a spat with someone doesn’t automatically make them an abuser.
The amount of this type of bullying, gaslighting & abuse I see on Twitter is appalling, especially in the YA & activist communities. Remember these are people’s lives. Please think VERY CAREFULLY about whether someone is truly harmful before badmouthing/blocklisting them.
Social isolation is incredibly hurtful, and is therefore a powerful tool of abusers. I think some people aren’t mature enough to know that just because someone offended or hurt them doesn’t mean that person is problematic.
I know what it’s like to see someone I care about cross that line, where I feel like their behavior is hurtful – it makes me uncomfortable. It can be difficult to say something to them, because you like them…or because you’re worried they’ll target YOU if you say anything.
It is instinctive for human beings to be a bit in awe of, and therefore a bit ignorant of the faults of, powerful and/or popular people. But we need to take care of ourselves and our communities. It’s important.