Some things to think about.

Do you need to deal with your old posts?

Facebook and Instagram have features that let you stop old posts from being publicly available.

This is great if you got started with an account when you were a lot younger or if those posts are now quite embarrassing.

You can limit your old posts to just friends so that they’re no longer publicly searchable.

To do this, go to the downward arrow on the top right of the screen -> Settings -> Privacy -> ‘Limit Past Posts Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public.


Archiving on Instagram

Instagram now has a feature that lets you archive photos (instead of deleting them).

To archive a post, tap the triple-dot button above it and you’ll see Archive at the top of the list. Don’t worry, the Delete option remains for those photos you want gone forever. Archived posts are removed from your feed and placed on your archive page.

After archiving a post, you can reverse it and add it back to your feed. From the archive page, open a photo, tap the triple-dot button and then tap Show on Profile. It’ll get put back in it’s original place, with the chronological order of your feed unchanged.


Is it time to clean up your friends list?

Going through your Social Media Friends list gives you the chance to give more of your time and space to the people that you really do value (and want to know about their lives).

This saves you from feeling frustrated, disappointed or even just exhausted with posts or photos from people you are connected with but have little in common with (or little interest in).

It can also stop Social Media from draining your emotional energy by having to read posts from people you have very little to do with (and are not actually that close to).  Even just scrolling through or skimming these posts can take a toll on your emotions and your state of mind.

It can also save you time!  The less uninteresting content you have to scroll past, the more time you have to focus on the posts and interactions you actually enjoy.


Muting or Unfollowing

If you want to remove someone’s posts from your feed without removing them completelyTwitter and Instagram let you mute accounts and Facebook lets you unfollow accounts.

Posts and updates will no longer appear in your feed, but the account itself will still appear in your ‘Twitter Following list’ or your ‘Facebook Friends list’.

On Instagram, you will still see their photos but you won’t see their stories.



Instagram lets you mute someone else’s Instagram Stories but muting won’t stop their photos from showing up in your Instagram feed.


On Facebook, if you no longer want to see someone’s posts in your newsfeed, you have two options: Unfollow or Unfriend.

Unfollow them

To Unfollow someone (but stay friends)

    1. Go to the person’s Page.
    2. Hover over Following.
    3. Select Unfollow

You will no longer see this friend’s updates on your News Feed.

You can still see their updates if you visit their profile/timeline page.

They will still see your posts and will still show up on your friends list.

This can be a good option if you do not want the drama of ‘unfriending’ someone but need some time away from their posts.

Unfriend them

To unfriend someone:
      1. Go to that person’s profile
      2. Hover over Friends and the down arrow at the top of their profile
      3. Select Unfriend

The person you unfriended won’t be notified.

If you don’t want someone to see your profile, add you as a friend or send you a message, you will need to BLOCK them.



On Twitter, muting is a good way to temporarily remove someone from your feed, or to stop getting updates from someone whom you can’t unfriend or delete for other reasons (e.g. they’re an extended family member).

It is important to know that muting an account will still let that account owner send you replies and direct messages and even unfollowing that account won’t stop the account owner from sending you replies.

If you want to prevent an account from appearing in your feeds, you’ll need to BLOCK them.


Muting not enough?

If muting isn’t enough and you want to remove an account from your follow/friends list, you’ll need to Unfollow on Twitter and Instagram and Unfriend on Facebook.

Instagram also has a block feature that stops another account from seeing your photos, and Facebook lets you block people from seeing your timeline or tagging you.

Other social networks, such as Tumblr or Snapchat, have similar methods of removing people from your feeds (or preventing them from seeing your feeds).


Limit your audience

Different Social Media Platforms have different ways you can decide who sees what you post in your account.


You have the choice on Facebook to limit the audience for individual posts so that some things might be seen by the public where others will only be able to be seen by a custom list of people.


On Instagram you can not do this for specific posts but you can have different accounts.


On Snapchat, like Instagram, you cannot do it for specific stories but you can block certain people on your friends list from seeing your stories.

You do this by going into your settings, ‘View my Story’ and then selecting ‘Custom’ from the options.

From there, you can click the red ‘x’ beside friends (one by one) that you would like to block from seeing your story.  You will still be able to send and receive snaps with that person.


Be wary of scams

There can be  scams and people looking to take advantage of you through Social Media too.

Scams are not all emails trying to sell you viagra or offering you a million dollars in exchange for your account details and sometimes they can be trickier to spot.

Scams, Spam or Malware can range from video links sent through messaging asking things like “Is this you?” that then access your friends list and forward on spam;  to someone pretending to be someone else online and trying to build a relationship with you.

To avoid being scammed,  be careful about what details you give out online or simply do not engage at all.

Don’t reply and don’t click on the link.

If it seems dodgy or you are not 100%,  check with the person or with a friend before doing anything. It is very unlikely that you have won an awesome prize in a competition you did not enter or that you can buy a brand new iPhone for $50 as a ‘parallel import’.  Trust your gut.


Re-Scam Tool from Netsafe

Netsafe also have a great tool called ‘Re-scam’ if you are being sent scam emails.

They have created an artificially intelligent email bot made to reply to scam emails.

Re:scam wastes scammers time with a never-ending series of questions and anecdotes so that scammers have less time to pursue real people.

Check out for more information.


There is always someone behind the screen

You know those harmless memes or posts that ask you to tag a friend?  The ones with a photo of someone who might be overweight or have an appearance different to the ‘norm’?

They are not harmless at all when you understand that they are actually real people in the photos and that you are adding to a toxic culture of making fun of anyone that is different.

In the right context, they could be intended as a laugh between friends, but what they really do is target or victimise certain people, differences or disabilities.

It says more about us than it does about the person being tagged or the person in the image.

Life online gets pretty nasty anyway, it’s a real person behind every screen.

They can be affected by what is said and taking a moment to think about how you would feel if it was you can help put things in perspective.  .

It can be easier to say something mean online than it is to say it to their face but we should not use this as an excuse to change our behaviour and become a keyboard warrior.


Other things to Remember

You will have already heard this before, but it is important to understand that sometimes people are not who they say they are online.

This happens here in NZ too. For real.  We are not trying to use fear to manipulate you.

If you notice someone using photos as their profile that you know are not them, report the account and don’t engage with them.

It can be really dangerous to meet someone in person that you have only spoken to online, especially if you go alone.  Things can go really wrong.

If they are who they say they are and genuinely want to meet you, they should understand that you would want someone with you for safety and that it is heaps safer that this is in a public place.  They also would not try to pressure or persuade you differently.