We all have friends who are guilty of sharing pictures that would fall into the categories of Too Many, Too Often, Too Self Indulgent, and Too Ridiculous on Instagram. Whether they haven’t mastered the album function (stop filling my feed with pics of the same flower, Brenda!) or their pics are becoming too narcissistic for your midday Instagram scroll, there is such a thing as a bad Instagrammer. But you don’t want to unfollow them! That could have real world, real friendship implications.
Thankfully, Instagram has now made it possible for users to mute people they follow, meaning they’ll no longer show up on your feed. If you don’t want to see your friend’s post-baby-abs every day with a cute hashtag, you don’t have to anymore. #IWokeUpLikeThis #NoYouDidnt
Instagram announced on Tuesday that it will soon be introducing the new mute function, which will allow users to continue following accounts without seeing images from the accounts on their feed or in their Instagram stories (you can mute one or both). In a statement released by Instagram, the company touts the idea as a way to customize your feed, saying “With this change, you can make your feed even more personalized to what matters to you.” More like, customize it to what doesn’t annoy you.
The mute function will still allow you to see pictures on the user’s profile page and you’ll be notified about comments and posts you’re tagged in. The user will not know that you have muted them, and you can undo the function at any time, in case you decide that seeing your cousin’s daily declaration of love for their boyfriend of two months is no longer nauseating.
The ‘unfollow’ function, which works the same way, has been available for a while on Facebook, which owns Instagram. Both functions will hopefully spare you some online annoyance; just remember to have a quick scan of the friend or family member’s account you’ve muted before you see them at the next group function. You don’t want to miss their 53 individually posted engagement photo pics and inadvertently reveal you have no idea what’s going on with them. Social media can save you online, but you have to save yourself in person.
Is this a passive aggressive approach to living in the world of social media? Maybe, but with apps available that tell people when one of their users has unfollowed them, this is a much kinder option than unfollowing a friend and essentially telling them you can’t stand watching their curated life, not to mention their overuse of hashtags.