Joan Westenberg: The block button is the ultimate source of dopamine. Use it
It's your right to choose who you interact with digitally, and you don't need a detailed explanation for your choices. Your online space, your rules.
Ideally our feeds would not have replies from people actively harassing us, or who choose to be a jerk for no apparent reason. That’s not the way it works though, and this will get into our mentions. My advice: block anyone who posts something intended to make you feel bad. You don’t need to block everyone who disagrees with you, you don’t need to insulate yourself from other opinions, but you certainly don’t have an obligation to hear hate from random people on the internet.
Just this past weekend I posted something pretty innocuous about what my wife told me she was seeing on social media about NameDrop and some asshole (my words) thought it was a good chance to call us both idiots. I wasn’t pleased, so I called him an asshole, and he called me a pussy in return. Links to his posts won’t work anymore, but thankfully I’m the admin on my server, so I can share the moderation reports which show the text from the posts in question.
I didn’t take any action after the first one, although I probably should have, but the second one got me, so I blocked him and disallowed him from interacting with my isfeeling.social Mastodon server. A couple kind people who follow me took offense to the idiots post and reported him to me as well. As a server admin and moderator, Mastodon gives me the option to notify the Mastodon admin for the account I’ve suspended as to why I blocked them from my server, so they can decide if they want to take any action as well. I can’t tell exactly what happened since that’s not reported back to me, but as you can see from the fact the account is suspended now, it seems pretty clear that the moderators on mstdn.social didn’t like this either. Good for them.
Anyway, that’s just an anecdote and a peek behind the curtain of some basic Mastodon moderation, but my ultimate point here is that these people don’t deserve to be in your mentions, certainly not for any sort of free speech reasons, so block them and go about your day.