We all have them – those Facebook friends who insist on sending us game requests, Twitter follows that tweet all.day.long about what they had for lunch, or those folks on Instagram who post funeral selfies. These may be people you legitimately care about, but just don’t want to see their opinions on Obamacare flooding your timeline. So what do you do? Here’s how you can get a little peace and quiet on social media without silencing your friends forever.
Facebook: Preventing people from showing up in your newsfeed is pretty simple. If a post pops up from someone that you’d rather not see, click the upside-down arrow in the upper right hand corner of the post. You’ll get options to either hide that particular post from your feed, or to unfollow that person entirely so that you don’t see any of their future posts. With this option, you are still friends, you just won’t see their activity in your newsfeed. To actually block someone altogether, go to their page, click on the ellipses (…) in the right hand corner of their cover photo, and there you can block them from seeing your page or any of your activity.
Unfortunately, game requests have to be blocked one game at a time. If someone sends you a request, click the link. A window will pop up with the words “View in App Center” in the bottom right hand corner. Click that link, and once you’re in the app center, you’ll see an option to block the game. Hit “Confirm” and you’re all set! No more Farm Heroes or Candy Crush! Thankfully, blocking will prevent anyone else from sending you a request for that specific game. You can also block people, game requests, notifications, and event invites in one swoop using this method.
Twitter: Twitter provides a ‘Mute’ function that will prevent tweets from someone you follow from showing up in your feed. You can mute directly from a tweet by clicking the ‘…More’ link at the bottom of the tweet and selecting ‘Mute’. From a profile page, click the gear icon next to the ‘Follow’ button and you can select ‘Mute’ from there as well. You can also use either one of these methods to block or report someone if necessary.
Instagram: With Instagram, if you’re following someone, you’re gonna have to take the good with the bad with whatever they post. There currently isn’t a way to continue to follow someone without seeing their photos in your feed. If you do wish to block them entirely, go to their profile page and click the arrow with the square around it in the upper right hand corner. You’ll see an option to block or report that user as inappropriate. If you use Instagram Direct, there is a way to ignore direct messages from someone without unfollowing them altogether. On your home page, click the tray in the top right hand corner. Once you’re in Direct, you can select a message from a user, and click the ellipses (…) in the bottom right hand corner to block that person from sending anything else to your direct messages.
Everyone has an opinion, and with social media networks it’s easy for those opinions to get very cluttered very quickly. The good news is that you can quiet some of the chatter without losing important connections – no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater!