Blocking, Restricting, Unfollowing: Snubbing in the Digital Age

We all have those people who we’d rather not bump into online

Nosey parents, high school mean girls, and nasty flatmates, sometimes we need to create a bit of distance between ourselves and people online. Even when you’re close to people, you sometimes crave some distance in the digital world.

Social media makes it easier than ever to stalk people without the other person knowing. It’s one of the great joys of Facebook. However, with this in mind, social media platforms have given users additional measures to protect their privacy.

Here are my favourite ways to snub people online!


Instagram have recently released an option to “restrict” users, which limits the amount a person can interact with your account without the other person knowing. While the logistics of how this works are still slightly unclear, this is a good option for overly attentive family members or people who you dislike but have to see regularly.

Messenger also has a similar option which automatically moves messages from the individual into message requests. Don’t want to seem too keen? Fed up of hearing from them? Restrict might be the option for you.


Blocking users is the most dramatic, but also oftentimes necessary option. The individual will be able to see that they have been blocked, but they won’t be able to see your profile or message you. Just hope that you don’t bump into them in person!

Hide Story

Instagram also has the option to hide your story from certain individuals. Particularly personal blog post? Went on a trip but didn’t invite them? Took a selfie in their bedroom? Hide story.


Sometimes, you can get away with unfriending or removing somebody as a follower without them noticing. It’s a risky business, and requires careful execution, but the payoff is beautiful anonymity.


Mute is a safe option if you temporarily don’t want to hear from somebody. There are various different lengths of time to do this for depending on the app, putting the ball directly in your court.

Turn off active status

Messenger allows you to turn off your active status for individual people, or for everyone. This means that the heartfelt paragraph friend won’t know when you’re active or not.

And finally,

Mark as unread

Mark as unread is just about as sneaking as the half swipe on Snapchat. This option allows you to act as though you never saw the message in the first place- just so long as you’re not active at the same time!

Disclaimer: Please don’t do any of these to me or I will cry.

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