You could drink from a toilet, but why would you?

You can drink your water from the faucet or from the toilet. Both will quench your thirst, but you might have some problems from the latter.

With this idea in your mind, let me tell you that it's OK to block people, refuse to visit certain websites or information sources, and even keep their comments from reaching you on social media or blogs.

I stumbled upon a brouhaha regarding a generally loathesome blog (located nearby, in Montana!), and a call to block the blog's social media accounts and stop visiting the blog. I knew for sure what I'd see in the the second and third generation comments (those that respond under an initial comment).

1. "By telling people to do X, aren't you doing X?" This is the equivalent of thinking logical superiority has been achieved by you when your teacher tells you and your classmates to be quiet, and you call her out for talking in order tell people to be quiet. Go claim your trophy, little buddy.

2. "It's not a good idea to refuse to read opinions you don't like." The intellectual position on to block or not to block, and what that says about the person, is tough for people because we want to be sure we're thought of as magnanimous giant sponges, capable of absorbing everything without negative effect. The accusation seems to be one born out of concern of creating an information bubble or ghetto, that it's bad to reduce your information gathering to some kind of preference list because you'll become part of a small-minded mob. This is confusing the consuming of selective information with selective sources.

Think of the water example at the start of this post. Lots of places we can get water to drink, but we're pretty mindful of what we put in our body because we know it has a real effect on what comes out. Why would we do any less with what we put in our minds?

I can get information from a source that's a dumpster fire or from something more balanced and equitable. Being selective about my source, if I'm truly in pursuit of broad information*, is a great idea, not a bad one.

To be fair, the reason the guy was telling his readers to blog Loathsome Blog was because he was apparently tired of being told by his readers, in various forms of shock, about the terrible thing Loathsome Blog had just written or posted on social media. From that standpoint, his request is legit. If the readers couldn't stop bombarding him with stuff he'd already decided not to partake in, he could reasonably ask them to consider not partaking, either, since they couldn't seem to control what they did after they partook.

I block a lot of people. I don't let random people leave comments on my social media. I control the comments section of my own blog. I don't read or consume information from some sources. Why?

I call it the Philippians 4:8 principle, which you could kind of sum up as garbage in, garbage out.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. -- Philippians 4:8

I do not need to add anger, doubt, or other negative emotions to my life based on something some Loathsome Blog dude in Montana wrote. Real life is challenging enough without a Max Headroom-esque racket distracting me from a focus on God. Seriously, I left Twitter in January 2018, and I can't recommend it enough. Much more peace. I'm not constantly caught up in the drama of how to think and react, and think about the reactions of, people who publish their thoughts on a whim all hours of the day on a world-wide platform.

Sure, Loathsome Blog might make some valid points once in a while ("a broken clock is still right twice a day"), but it's an informational slurry mixed with far too much poison.

Find a different water hole.


* Someday maybe I'll write about our unquenchable search for information and knowledge, and why that's not necessarily the positive we're culturally and technologically programmed to think it is, particularly when modern minds are sieves. For now, just read the first few chapters of Genesis, and then Luke 12:47-48. If you gotta know a lot about something, let it be about and of God.

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