At the beginning of the social media era there were several platforms that offered the ability to create a profile, share content and get in touch with other people. Over time, among the various choices, two main competitors achieved to succeed: Facebook and Twitter. The first was meant to be a generalistic social network, while the other one was more focused on the sharing of news and of short updates.
With the next years and the growing interest for the world of social media, new platforms have known rapid popularity and today we can choose among several services where we can have a profile and share content. One of these services is Instagram, a social media purchased by the same Facebook company (now called Meta) that is focused on the sharing of pictures, videos and - recently - also of short videos with music (in an attempt to try to replicate the success of TikTok). Instagram is currently one of the most used social media services and it is especially famous among the youngest generations, more or less like it happened with TikTok: people have literally been thrilled about the ability to share every important aspect of their lives or to even just take a selfie sometimes and share it with their followers.
Blocking People on Instagram
Instagram, like all the other popular social network services, allow people to follow other users in order to regularly see their photos. People follow others if they are interested in what they are posting, otherwise they reciprocally follow with their friends. Instagram also allows to comment on pictures posted by other people and even to send private messages. Being the platform so rich of social features, there is also the option to block other people. Blocking a user on Instagram means preventing them to be able to search or watch our profile and our pictures. In addition, when you block a user, they will not see anymore eventual comments you write on other pictures, so, for blocked users, our profile is literally invisible and undetectable. Blocking is a way to get rid of people who harass or who simply are ruining are experience on Instagram with bad behaviors, still, it is still possible for a blocked user to watch our profile by logging off their account, unless our profile is set to be private and viewable only by approved followers. This should not be much of a concern, as the logged off user is still unable to send messages or post comments, anyway a recent feature of Instagram allows to block users and even eventual other associated profiles, so that blocking someone means essentially trying to block also eventual other accounts associated to that user. While technology is not 100% perfect, it is evident that Instagram is efficient at providing solutions to block people and prevent them to circumvent the limitations.
Restricting Someone on Instagram
While blocking a user on Instagram means essentially cutting any tie and prevent any other forms of interaction, story is slightly different when we talk about another feature that Instagram offers to its users: the ability to restrict certain profiles. This option may be considered like a sort of 'soft block'. If, for example, you follow a classmate or co-worker (in general, a person you see everyday in real life and you wouldn't like to block as it would be too rude) who posts a lot of non-sense comment, you may decide to restrict this user, so that you don't explicitly block them (by also removing any follow from or to), but you still limit the way they are able to interact with your profile. A restricted user can comment your pictures but comments will be only visible to you and the author: this is great if you have that friend who posts non sense stuff and you want to keep your profile clean without being too rude. Moreover, messages sent from a restricted user will be shown in the Message Requests, so that you can eventually decide to read them or not without noticing the user. The ability to restrict people may seem like a non-sense at a first glance, as if there is a reason to limit interactions with a certain user, maybe directly blocking that account is the best solution: at the fact it is a very useful solution when you have to deal with people you know in the real life and you wouldn't like to totally block on Instagram.
|Restricted User||Blocked User|
Can view your profile & picture
Can't view your profile or pictures
Can comment your photos but their comments will remain hidden to other people
Can't comment your content
Can follow you and be followed by you
No follow is possible
Can message you but messages will be sent to the Message Requests section
Can't send messages
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Alessio Ganci