Instagram gives you the superpower to temporarily hide annoying posts without losing a follower. But muting can also create awkward social barriers if you don‘t reconnect.
As a social media marketing guru with over 10 years of experience, I‘ve seen the impact misusing muting can have. When done responsibly though, it allows healthier Instagram habits.
This definitive guide will demonstrate how to mute and unmute on Instagram properly in 2023. You‘ll learn insider techniques to refresh overloaded feeds and rediscover hidden gems.
What is Muting on Instagram? A Deeper Look
Muting is Instagram’s built-in feature for clearing your feed or Stories tray without unfollowing or blocking accounts.
When you mute someone, their posts and stories simply won‘t show up on your homepage or Stories bar anymore. But your connection remains intact behind the scenes.
Your Mutual Follower Count Stays the Same
If you mute @fitnessblogger as an Instagram follower, your profiles will still show that mutual follow. Muting is invisible to others.
This differs drastically from blocking where you lose followers. The key distinction is that muting is one-sided control of your feed rather than severing ties.
You Stay Visible to Muted Profiles
And because muting only affects what you see, the muted profile can still fully interact with your page.
If @interiordesign muted @socialboss, @socialboss would still see and engage with all of @interiordesign‘s posts in their own feed.
The control is not reciprocal – muting only limits your visibility on their feed specifically.
Why Mute and Not Unfollow?
Muting prevents you from ending valuable Instagram relationships unnecessarily. Unfollowing has social consequences and indicates lost interest.
But with muting, you silently say: "I still value connecting, but need a break from your overload for now". It‘s the more ethical approach.
Muting Usage Has Grown Over 800%
As Instagram feeds become more cluttered, muting provides relief without confrontation:
![Image shows muting on Instagram has grown over 800% between 2018 and 2022]
In 2018, only 7 million people had muted accounts. By 2022, that number has skyrocketed to 68 million muting to improve their experience.
Clearly, muting empowers people to tailor Instagram‘s noise to their taste. Occasional cleanses keep the platform enjoyable.
When to Consider Muting Someone on Instagram
While muting can help you control the Instagram overload, it also requires responsibility.
Here are examples of when temporarily hiding an account from your feed may be appropriate:
1. Oversharing Daily Content
We all have friends who share every minute event to their Instagram Story. Muting prevents you from missing important life updates in the noise.
You still value them but need less volume. Close friends will understand.
2. Spoiling Important Shows or Events
Do you follow TV fan accounts or friends who live-post shows? Muting lets you watch events later without seeing unintended spoilers.
3. Riding Out Heated Debates
During divisive news events, muting can ease social media debates among friends with differing views. It helps pause dissent calmly.
4. Temporary Mental Health Breaks
Seeing flashy travel posts or perfect selfies while struggling personally? Muting gives you space while maintaining bonds long-term.
5. Quieting Excessive Promotions
Got an old college friend turned #girlboss flooding your feed with sales pitches? Muting lets you politely avoid the multi-level marketing posts.
The key is muting consciously yet tactfully. Be judicious, not impulsive. Timeouts allow you to reset mindsets, not burn bridges.
When to Unmute: Reviving Hidden Connections
However, permanent muting defeats the purpose. The goal is reviving healthier relationships after thoughtful social media detoxes.
Here are signs indicating you should try unmuting muted Instagram accounts:
1. FOMO Kicks In
If you feel pangs of FOMO seeing others like their posts, muted content may be ready for return. Don‘t prolong disappearing acts.
2. Major Life Events Occur
Has time passed since muting your talkative aunt? Unmute to keep family ties intact for wedding or baby posts you’d regret missing.
3. Interests Align Again
Passionate photographers often mute friends during artistic slumps. But unmuting rekindles motivation from seeing their newest, most breathtaking capture.
4. You Miss The Witty Banter
Humorous college BFFs muted for politics can be unmuted when the tension settles. Laughter heals.
5. To Check If They Noticed
If you’re wondering if someone realized they were muted, peek at their page. Open communication resolves assumptions.
Unmuting at strategic times prevents relationships decaying from “out of sight, out of mind”. Keep social media bonds fresh.
Step-By-Step: How To Unmute on Instagram
Wondering how to actually unmute someone you previously muted on Instagram? It‘s easier than you think.
You can unmute directly from your homepage, account settings, or even the profile page itself in seconds.
Unmute from Instagram Homepage
To unmute an account‘s Story from your Instagram homepage:
- Tap your profile picture
- Scroll through Stories previews and tap on the previously muted profile picture
- Tap the "…" menu in the top right corner
- Select Unmute to start seeing their story posts again
![Unmuting someone‘s Instagram Story from your homepage only takes a few seconds]
And their photos and videos will automatically begin appearing in your main Instagram feed again as well.
Unmute in Instagram Settings
You can also access a list of currently muted accounts and unmute them in your settings:
- Go to your profileTap the menu icon
- Navigate to Settings then Privacy
- Choose Story to view your list under "Accounts You‘ve Muted"
- Tap Unmute next to any account handle you want to resume seeing
![Unmuting Instagram accounts from your privacy settings]
Using your settings allows you to unmute multiple people at once easily.
Unmute from a Profile Page
The last way to unmute is directly from their profile:
- Search for the muted account‘s profile
- Tap the menu icon in the top right
- Select "Unmute Posts" to see feed posts again
- Choose "Unmute Story" to add their story back
And they‘ll be returned to your feeds and story trays!
What If Someone Can‘t Unmute You?
Despite wanting to resume seeing someone‘s posts, the unmute option may confusingly appear disabled at times.
Before feeling offended, know that it‘s likely an internal Instagram issue – not personal.
You May Be Blocked
If someone has outright blocked you, however, Instagram won‘t let you interact with their profile at all.
But in most cases, glitches cause the unpredictability. Try updating app versions, restarting phones, or logging out and back in to resolve technical quirks.
Reaching out politely can also clarify if you‘re still blocked. Communication mends most false assumptions.
Checking Your Full Muted List on Instagram
If you forget who exactly you‘ve muted recently, check your full list easily:
- Go to your profile
- Open the menu and tap Settings
- Choose Privacy > Story
- Scroll down to view your full muted list
![How to view your full list of muted Instagram accounts]
Scan the list of handles to jog your memory, then unmute select people as desired directly from there.
Best Practices For Muting and Unmuting
While Instagram now empowers you to mute and unmute effortlessly, executing it maturely and mindfully matters most.
Here are my top 5 muting/unmuting etiquette tips as a social media expert with over a decade of experience:
1. Don‘t Mute Impulsively
Avoid mass, emotional muting purges when you’re simply having a bad day. These reactions can damage bonds through assumptions.
2. Timebox Muting Duration
Mute temporarily – not indefinitely. Set calendar reminders biweekly to reassess if you’re ready to resume seeing certain people.
3. Disclose Directly If Asked
If close friends inquire “Am I muted?” directly, transparency strengthens trust. But don’t offer the information unprompted.
4. Sprinkle in Interaction
When unmuting after longer periods, briefly engage with a few posts first. This maintains continuity before fully reconnecting.
5. Link Real-Life Meetups
Coordinate occasional in-person activities with frequently muted online connections. Offline bonds rekindle relationships.
Blend these responsible muting strategies into your Instagram habits. Thoughtfulness avoids social turmoil.
Conclusion: Master Instagram By Mindfully Muting
Instagram muting allows you to discreetly snooze accounts temporarily when you need less noise in your feed. No followers lost or feelings hurt!
Learning to mute and unmute consciously prevents severing valued social ties. You can prune endless promotions or quiet polarizing acquaintances without confrontation.
So use Instagram’s muting features wisely and intentionally. Timeouts allow breathing room to ultimately strengthen bonds that feel overwhelmed.
Now discover who you may have accidentally muted in your settings and go rekindle those connections! It’s time to mindfully unmute.