Google+ only roughly represents real life's full range of interactions, but Google's social network just got a little more subtle with the new ability to ignore people.
Previously, Google+ members could block others, but now you don't have to go nuclear if somebody is bugging you.
And because Google doesn't tell a person you've ignored them, Google+ now lets you be as socially dysfunctional as you were in eighth grade: ignored people still can tell if they're in one of your circles, seemingly indicating that you're following them when in practice you're not.
You can also ignore people you're not following but who are following you, whose posts would otherwise appear in your "incoming" stream.
Here's how Google+ programmer Olga Wichrowska described the feature in a Google+ post last night:
Ignoring someone is basically saying you're just not interested--maybe you don't know them, or maybe you don't want to see what they're sharing. When you do Ignore someone, a few things happen on Google+, including:
you won't see any of their posts in the Incoming stream.
you won't get notifications about their activities.
you won't see them on your Circles page.
Ignoring doesn't mean complete banishment from your social interactions.
"An ignored person will still be able to comment on your public posts, tag you in photos, and add you to circles. You'll still receive notifications when an ignored person tags you in a photo. In addition, people you've ignored may appear as a suggestion again at a later time," Google's help page states.
Here's Wichrowska's YouTube video describing the ignore feature.