By: Nick Gambino

Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are built on a base of friends and followers. Connections like these allow us to easily see the things we’re interested in and keep in touch with people we care about.

But there’s something about the way some people use the platform that can be, in a word, annoying. You know the type of people I’m talking about – perpetual posters, over-political posters, redundant posters and let’s not forget those who bastardize the English language with egregious grammatical errors. (Yes, I’m talking about you, Ashley. It’s “could’ve” not “could of.”)

Unfortunately, because the internet has made us overly sensitive to perceived awkwardness we don’t just unfollow or unfriend these people. Especially if they’re actual friends or people we deal with in real life. We’re basically punished for disliking their online personalities.

Thankfully Facebook-owned Instagram is adding a new feature that’ll solve that. The new Mute feature allows you to “disappear” all of that user’s posts without having to unfriend or unfollow them.

The feature, which is rolling out to all users over the next few weeks, is the easiest way to unclog or brighten your feed without ruffling any feathers. All you have to do is tap the “…” icon in the top right corner of a post. A red Mute option will appear under “Unfollow.” Click it, and choose to mute posts, stories or both, and all of that person’s posts will cease to show up on your feed.

In the spirit of not rocking the online boat, that user won’t know that you muted them. You can still check out their posts by heading over to their profile, and you’ll still be notified if they tag you or comment on a post.

Once the feature shows up in my Instagram app, I’ll start working over my feed to more closely align it to the things I want to see – dog videos, clever memes and exotic locations. And shield myself from the things I don’t – photos of homecooked meals that look like dog food, car selfies and inspirational quotes seemingly written by a 15-year old experiencing their first heartbreak.


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.