Carl Barenbrug

Product design, creative direction

Rational, Not Reactive

This week I was faced with an unusual situation. I was blocked on Twitter and Instagram by an account I have followed for a long time. An account and company I have supported in various formats, and one that I have actually invested in. Sounds odd, right?

Do I need to call them out? Probably not, because honestly, I don't really give a shit about social media. I use it merely as a networking tool and push out periodic content, along with a few thoughts that probably only reach a handful of people.

With that said, I was still quite surprised. It seemed a wholly irrational and reactive decision to block me. I have a reasonably good idea why it happened, though. I recently created a concept design of a device that was nothing more than an exercise in design. Far from a serious and intentional pursuit, I did it on a whim in about an hour. Literally nothing different to what you will discover on the likes of Behance or Dribbble. In addition, I clearly cited my inspirations, which I always do out of respect and integrity. I drew on specific design characteristics of others yet created something unique and very much in line with a design language you would expect from me. But clearly someone was offended. We do, after all, live in a hyper-sensitive world where people are quick to react at the click of a button without much thought.

Upon reflection, it is entirely someone's prerogative to block me for whatever reason they may have. That's not something I'll lose any sleep over. But, you know what would have been a little more rational? Taking the time to email me and explain their issue. Open an asynchronous dialogue like a decent human being where you can give your words and actions a little more consideration rather than acting petulantly.

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