The mute feature on Instagram it’s a great way to avoid annoying publications from friends and loved ones. You can mute all their posts and stories (without them knowing) instead of unfollowing them.
In the past, it was made possible to mute someone’s Insta Story, but not the actual photos that they post to their profile, aka the ones that show up (and sometimes clog) in your main feed. However, since 2018 all of that has changed. Gone are the days when your mood instantly turns from indifferent to annoyance while scrolling through your Instagram because now you can subtly mute friends on your main feed.
An Instagram representative opened up about why the company decided to add this new feature. They acknowledged a massive demand for it and added, “We’ve also heard it may be a useful tool for managing complex social dynamics.” Indeed, it does.
According to Alfonso Cox, psychologist of the UC Health Network, muting someone on Instagram can be a wise decision if we like someone but not their virtual persona. Paula Magazine asked different people why they decided to mute their friends, and the main reasons were: They post too much, share fake news, upload many pictures of their children, they are not authentic, or they expose too much of their privacy.
Cox explains that in real-life interactions, people choose the topic of the conversation. Meanwhile, seeing someone else’s posts is more like a monologue. The psychologist adds that some people want to be perceived a certain way, so it can be annoying when they adopt an insistent style to try to convince others.
In the past, unfollowing a friend on Instagram could end a friendship (even if sometimes that wasn’t the intention behind unfollowing someone). But now, thanks to this feature, they won’t know if you mute them. The best part it’s that they’ll still be able to send you DMs and know that you follow them.
On the other hand, other experts suggest asking ourselves why we want to mute that person. It’s essential to be tolerant and accept others with their different opinions and lifestyles. If our friends post more than ten stories per day and it’s a little intense, then that’s a reasonable reason to mute them. However, suppose they share their political preferences or religious experiences, making us uncomfortable because we disagree. In that case, we should improve our tolerance and remember that we are still friends in real life despite those differences.
Finally, the most important thing it’s to prioritize real-life ties over virtual interactions. If we have a good time with our friends and loved ones when we meet face-to-face but are not huge fans of their internet persona, that shouldn’t be a reason to avoid them or cut ties. We should also remember that there’s always a chance that someone else (without us knowing) might have muted us.
Seeing this as a personal decision that can be harmless and assertive it’s a great way of recognizing all the benefits behind this feature. For this reason, most apps nowadays have this feature. You can mute a contact on your Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.