Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Instagram Adds a Mute Button

Katie Notopoulos, Buzzfeed:

If you’re sick of someone who posts too often, or you just don’t want to see them for any reason, you no longer have to outright unfollow them; you can just subtly mute them.

Although Instagram never made it obvious that you unfollowed someone, it was still possible for them to find out by looking through their followers list — and that had the potential to create some hurt feelings. And so it was that we remained hostage to their many unwelcome posts all this time.

But now, muting these insufferable people, like the gracious and polite person you are, solves those problems.

This is such a fascinating aspect of social media to me. I have no problem with following or unfollowing someone on any platform based on what they’re posting, regardless of their relationship to me. I follow almost nobody I know in real life on Instagram or Twitter — it isn’t that I don’t like them, it’s just that I don’t want to see them everywhere. And yet, I completely understand how a one-way follow or an unfollow could be seen as rude. We’ve managed to create a proxy for friendships without requiring any interaction. Isn’t that curious?