One of the really fascinating things about social media is that it grows and evolves and changes, based on the users’ needs. When the popular social media chat application Snapchat rolled out in 2011, it had a very basic set of features. Since then, the service has piled feature upon feature in a (mostly successful) attempt to gain and keep market share among the chattering classes. In 2018, Snapchat introduced the opportunity to “mute” someone’s story. This was a great help for many users; we all have that friend or group of friends who we genuinely want to follow and read, but who posts so often that our notifications become a nonstop flood of alerts about them. We want to be able to go back and review what they’ve written, but not be constantly beeped at.
Social media apps like Snapchat can be a total minefield. Even-tempered people can become rage monsters when they go online, while sometimes the people who in real life are always on the verge of exploding actually have a pretty chill online presence. The psychology of all this is fascinating, and many sociologists and psychologists are earning their doctorates today by studying these new ways to interact. Blocking and unfriending are particularly challenging to handle online. Where people would normally take rejection or disengagement in their stride in the real world, some take it incredibly personally on social media. Any tool that the networks can offer that minimize the fallout of these kinds of moves is a positive move. Being able to mute stories on Snapchat is definitely a good thing because it lets you protect your own environment without aggravating anyone else.
How about the other side of the picture, however? If you’re a Snapchat regular, and someone mutes you, is there any way for you to tell that’s happened? In this article, I will give you some pointers to help you detect whether you’ve been muted.
What Are the Ways to Mute Someone on Snapchat?
Which brings us back to the original question: can you tell if someone has muted you on Snapchat? In terms of detecting it directly, the answer is no, and that is by design. Most experienced social networkers know that oversharing is as bad, or sometimes worse, than not sharing at all. Yet if you unfriend or block them, they become hurt as if you’re the one who did wrong. There are several ways to limit your interaction with others on Snapchat without hurting their feelings… unless they get creative. We’ll look at that next. But first, here are the ways you can limit contact with others on Snapchat.
Muting a story in Snapchat is simple, and means you won’t have to get notifications each time a story is updated.
- Start at the Camera screen, and swipe right to go the Friends screen
- Tap on a friend’s Bitmoji or the icon for the Group you want to mute
- At the top of the screen, tap the Snapchat kebab icon
- Tap ‘Mute Story’
- Bear in mind: the option to Mute is only available for friend’s Stories, Group Stories, and the Popular Stories you’ve subscribed to
You can also directly turn off notifications to only receive an alert for what you want to see. To do so:
- Tap the gear wheel icon in the Profile screen to open Settings.
- Tap ‘Notifications.’
- Tap a notification setting to turn it on or off.
You will still be able to view and interact with the people whose notifications you’ve turned off, but you won’t be alerted every time they update. The over-sharer (or over-sharers) will not be notified and will not know you have muted them which should save any awkwardness.
Removing a friend sounds permanent, but it’s not necessarily that drastic. This will limit them from seeing private stories or charms, but they will still be able to see any public posts you make. You can also set your privacy settings to ensure you still hear from them (which seems counter-intuitive, so we’ll look at that a bit more).
To remove a friend:
- Swipe right from your Profile to go to the Friends screen
- Tap and hold the offending friend’s name
- Tap the ‘More’ option
- Tap ‘Remove Friend’
Blocking a friend is pretty much the last resort, but the great news is that you can unblock someone if you manage to patch things up. Blocking friends means they won’t be able to see your story or charms, and they won’t be able to send you snaps or chats. Unlike the other options, it’s going to be very obvious to your friends that they have been fully blocked.
To block a friend, swipe right for the Friends screen. Tap and hold on that friend’s name, then tap ‘More,’ and ‘Block.’ The deed is now done.
To unblock them once they’ve redeemed themselves, go to Settings, tap ‘Blocked,’ then tap the red X next to their name to bring them back into your good graces.
Snapchat Privacy Settings
While you’re updating these many options, be sure your privacy settings reflect what you truly want out of your Snapchat experience. The default setting on Snapchat for those who can contact you directly or view your story is “Friends,” but you can change that at any time.
Start by tapping the Gear icon to get to Settings. Then tap on “Who Can” to learn more.
Tap each option to see who can see what regarding your story, cameos, send notifications, and more. Within each option, you’ll be able to choose “Everyone,” “My Friends,” “Only Me,” or create a custom list of contacts. Once you’ve made your edits, tap the back button to save your choices.
Remember, that even if you have your settings locked down to “My Friends,” that won’t block strangers from Group Chats. You can always double-check who is included in a Group by tapping and holding the name of the group in the chat screen.
But Can I Still Find Out?
Regardless of what the app officially tells you, are there ways to tell you’ve been muted, removed, or blocked? Yes.
There are some common-sense ways to tell whether someone has muted you. One approach is when you know they’re online, to send them a snap that asks them a question that they would normally want to answer immediately. For example “I just ordered a huge pizza, do you want some of it?” or “OMG I just heard the most hilarious knock-knock joke, CALL ME!!!” If they answer you in ten seconds, you’re probably not on mute. If they answer you three hours later with a weak excuse about being in the shower (for three hours) then you’re probably on mute.
The most direct way, however, is to meet the person in the real world for something and while hanging out with them, send them a Snap. If their phone buzzes or beeps or alerts, then you’re not on mute. If the phone stays silent, then you obviously are on mute. (Try not to throw a wobbler right there in public, though. Remember that being muted is kind of a compliment; they want to hear from you, just not instantaneously.)
What’s the Difference Between Blocking and Muting?
Blocking in Snapchat is different than muting. It is more permanent and stops you from interacting with the person completely. It is also more visible to the blocked party too if they know what to look for.
Here’s how you can tell if someone has blocked you on Snapchat:
- Open Snapchat and look at your friends list. If someone has disappeared from the list, they may have blocked you.
- Search for their username in the search box. If they are not visible to you, they may have blocked you.
- Check someone else’s Snapchat app who is also friends with the person. If they appear in their friend’s list, they blocked you. If they turn up in search, they blocked you.
You may not be blocked of course. The person may have deleted Snapchat or not be using their account anymore. With more and more people withdrawing from social media, this is entirely possible. If you are real friends and not just Snapchat friends, call them and talk about it.
Can You Tell if Someone Has Blocked You on Snapchat?
As mentioned, blocking a friend is usually a last resort. The person doesn’t mute you or remove you but fully unfriended you within the app. You won’t be notified if someone has deleted you on Snapchat but there are signs.
The main sign is that the person remains in your friends list but any message you send them remains in gray Pending status. Of course, this may be because they aren’t using Snapchat right now. This could be purely technical and mechanical and have absolutely no emotional ramifications, so before you react, research. It might be worth it to send them a message on another form of social media if you’re typically close and copacetic.
You can also check by searching for their username from within Snapchat. If you can still see their Snapscore, you are still friends. If you can no longer see their Snapscore, you are not friends.
Handling Rejection on Snapchat
The great thing about social media is that you’re able to share your thoughts and feelings with others immediately. The worst thing about social media is that sometimes, you’re not sharing the best of your thoughts and feelings with others immediately. If you find that you have been blocked or deleted on Snapchat, pause and think before you react. Sit back and think as dispassionately as possible about the reasons why. Then check your facts. The person may have shut down their Snapchat account. They may be busy, on vacation, or something else. It may not even be about you.
If it is just you, and you feel the friendship is worth salvaging, talk to them reasonably about it. Find out what happened and why they did what they did. You may indeed have done something they interpreted as out of order and you can repair the relationship quickly. Some friends are disposable and that’s fine. Others are worth keeping around. It’s up to you to choose which is which.
Want more insight into handling your Snapchat account? We’ve got the resources you need!
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Have any tips about Snapchat to share? Comment down below!