It's a simple enough sentiment - and one that helps one to stay sane when dealing with the Internet and Social Media:
Talking in public is not agreement to talk to everyone in public. It doesn’t mean it’s open season on your time and energy. You don’t have to talk to anyone you don’t feel like talking to.But here's the thing - that goes for everyone else as well. And I think that this is something that many of us have trouble remembering. It's all well and good to affirm a person's ability to set whatever boundaries they choose and to tell them that you'll back them up when they arbitrarily decide to engage with one person and not with an other - but with that comes the idea that others are going to do the same. When you tell someone that they're allowed to assume that when others press to engage that their goal - consciously or unconsciously - is to bog them down and distract them from creating a world that is better for them, it does them a disservice to ignore the fact that others are allowed to assume the same of them. We like to presume not only that we are the heroes of our own stories, but that we are evidently so - to the degree that we can assume bad intentions on the parts of people whom we find disagreeable, taxing or just plain wrong - but that the same cannot be said of us.
You Don’t Need a “Good” Reason to Block
In the end, we wind up with a system that encourages people to see themselves in one light, and everyone else in another. Which is often the root of the problem to begin with.