Spend any amount of time on social media of any kind — Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc — and you’ll undoubtedly find that you want to mute somebody. Whether it’s the crazy conspiracy-theory-loving uncle or just somebody who you really don’t need to see quite that much of, muting is a feature that just about everybody should use. If not for their emotional well-being, at the very least to clean up their feed so that it’s mostly what they want to see.
Thankfully, there’s a way to mute somebody in just about every app and this guide will show you how to do that for one in particular, namely Instagram.
Here’s how to mute (and un-mute) somebody on Instagram
Now, for clarity, learning how to mute somebody means learning how to stop seeing posts they share on Instagram. This isn’t the same as blocking users or unfollowing them. Although those tend to work too, a mute is an effective way to stop seeing what they post without offending them. Since Instagram won’t tell somebody you’ve decided to mute that you’ve done so. And that means it really does ultimately just make your feed better for you.
- Begin, of course, by launching the Instagram application on your smartphone or tablet
- Next, use the search tool — or scroll down your feed, if the somebody you want to mute posts frequently enough — to find the user you’d like to apply a ‘mute’ to
- Near the top of that user’s profile, select the button that says “Following” — appearing under their username but above any posts that they’ve shared. If you’re not following them, you may need to block them or follow them first and then mute them. Chances are, you’re seeing their posts in your feed via somebody else
- Upon selecting the “Following” option, a new pop-out will appear. That shows an option that says “Mute,” which you’ll want to choose
- Another menu will appear, offering levels of muting that can be applied. You can choose to mute their posts or their stories. Or you can choose to mute both. Each option has its own slider, so simply select the options you’d like to apply. The toggle for selected options will turn from a gray color to a blue color when selected
- Rinse and repeat the process, beginning with step 2 of this guide, for any other users you’d like to mute those options for
Now that you’ve muted the user, you’ll no longer see your selected items in your feed. You can, of course, simply navigate to their profile to see anything they’ve shared.
And, of course, if you want to stop muting any somebody you’ve stopped seeing for whatever reason, that’s easy too. All you’ll need to do is follow steps two through six above. However, this time around, in step five, you’ll need to turn off the toggle again. Taking it from a blue-tinged hue back to gray. Then the person you’ve selected will no longer be muted.
This can really clean up your Instagram experience
As noted above, there are a lot of ways that muting somebody on Instagram can improve the experience. Not just for family members who share too much or too many weird things. But also for friends who do the same. And for those users who you’ve chosen to follow simply because they followed you.
At the heart of it all is well-being beyond the ability to silence notifications, present in most social media apps and sites. Because, at the end of the day, social media isn’t always all that “social.” As often as not, it’s more a detriment. So limiting how much is seen and selecting who gets to show you things on social media is key. At the very least, it’s key to a great experience.
Simultaneously, it’s important not to outright block people simply because you disagree or because they overshare sometimes. Otherwise, echo chambers are created, which fuels misinformation and other problems. So, learning how to and when to block or otherwise change interactions on an individual user basis is important. And a mute is a great intermediary between blocking or unfollowing and just letting all of somebody’s posts show up.