I Couldn’t Help But Wonder… Had I Been Muted?

It’s sleuthing time.

Originally Published: 
A woman looks at her phone, wondering if she'd been muted on Instagram. Here's how to tell if someon...
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There comes a time when you reach a crossroads on Instagram: You don’t want to see someone’s posts or stories anymore, but the unfollow button seems too harsh. Whether you need a temporary break from your cousin’s MLM promo stories or are trying to get your ex off of your feed without burning any bridges, the debut of Instagram’s mute feature in 2018 has given many users the perfect compromise. Muting is a subtle way to reclaim some peace of mind when you log on — and surely, everyone deserves that. But what happens if you think you might be someone’s mute-ee?

For whatever reason, you might have a feeling that you’ve been muted on Instagram. Maybe you’ve noticed that your college BFF hasn’t liked your pictures in ages, or your work frenemy never watches your stories. If they’re still following you, you might be wondering if someone muted you on Instagram.

How To Tell If Someone Muted You On Instagram

Both fortunately and unfortunately, when you mute someone on Instagram, the process is pretty hush-hush. Users aren’t notified that they’ve been muted, and cannot officially check anywhere on the app to see if they’ve been muted. (Think about it: Would you want your annoying oldest sister to have it written in cold pixels that you muted her dog’s account? You’d never hear the end of it.) So, if you’ve been feeling like someone has given you the digital “Talk to the hand” there’s not much you can do to verify in an official way.

The first few key clue that could mean that you’re muted is whether they’re viewing any of your content. First, check to make sure that they still follow you by heading to your profile, clicking on your followers, and searching for their username. Their lack of engagement could be because they unfollowed you, but, if they’re still following you, then it could be the result of being muted.

If you’re not sure whether they’ve been engaging with your content recently, you can check using a couple different metrics. If you’ve posted a story in the last 24 hours, check after it’s been up for a while to see if their name appears when you swipe up to see your story viewers. If not, there is a chance that they have you muted. Likewise, you can search for their name in the likes on your recent posts. If their name does not show up, it could mean that you’re not appearing in their feed because they’ve muted you.

However, neither of these methods make it loud and clear whether you’re muted on someone’s Instagram. It could just be because they don’t use the app much, aren’t choosing to engage with your content, or that the algorithm doesn’t put your content at the top of their feed. So, there’s no way to know for sure if someone has muted you — and this is very much intentional on behalf of Instagram and the user. If someone has chosen to mute you, they likely are hoping that their choice goes unnoticed. To find out if you’ve been muted for sure, you’ll have to ask them directly — if you think opening that can of worms is worth it.

How To Mute Someone On Instagram

If you’re feeling inspired to do some spring cleaning of your feed, but don’t like the potential hurt feelings and other implications that can come with a full unfollow, you might be considering muting someone, too. There are a few ways you can go about muting someone on Instagram, including the choice to mute a user’s stories, posts, or both.

In order to mute someone, they’ll need to have recently posted a story or post in your feed. If they’ve recently posted a story, hold down on their circular profile picture that appears at the top of your feed. A prompt will appear with the option to Mute in red text, or View Profile in white text. Tap “Mute” and you’ll be presented with the option to “Mute Story” or “Mute Story and Posts.” The prompt will also clarify that the user will not be notified of your decision.

If the user you’re trying to mute has recently shared a post that appears in your feed, click the three horizontal dots on the top-right corner of the post. Click “Hide” and a screen will appear with the option to mute or unfollow the users, or the option to undo hiding their post. Tap the mute option, and you will be given the option to “Mute posts” or “Mute posts and story.” Once again, the user will not be notified of your choice to mute them.

Last, take a deep breath, and enjoy the peaceful quiet you’ve created. Well, until you scroll to the rest of your endless feed.

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