Twitter's Mute Feature Can Help You Hide Spoilers and More
Sick of everyone talking about the same thing? You can keep terms and topics off your feed in a few steps. Here's how.
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Twitter can be a great place to interact with friends, brands, celebrities and almost anyone imaginable. The price of admission? Those people are probably going to tweet things you don't want to hear about. Maybe it's new episodes of the TV show you're still catching up on, maybe it's a new social media trend or maybe it's the news that Elon Musk is buying Twitter (although we have more on that deal, if you're interested, including the things that might change).
Movies and TV show spoilers are a frustrating but mostly harmless risk. Reading tweets that include painful or potentially triggering content can have a negative impact on your mental well-being and is a bigger problem. An unfiltered Twitter feed leaves you vulnerable to both of these risks and many in between.
Fortunately, there's a way to protect yourself. Twitter offers the option to mute terms, the same way you'd mute an account you don't want to hear from.
According to Twitter's description: "When you mute words, you won't get any new notifications for Tweets that include them or see Tweets with those words in your timeline."
Here's how to cleanse your timeline of unwanted topics.
How to mute specific words on Twitter
1. Tap on your profile picture in the top left on a mobile device. Select More if you're using a computer.
2. Select Settings and privacy
3. Choose Privacy and safety
4. Go to Mute and block
5. Tap Muted words. If you have any terms muted, they'll display on the next menu.
6. On iOS, press the Add button in the bottom right. On Android, press the + symbol in the bottom right (upper right on a web browser).
7. At the top of the screen, enter the word or phrase you want to mute. If you want to mute multiple terms, which is generally more effective, you'll have to mute them one at a time.
8.Select your preferred details for muting the term: Whether you want to mute them in your entire timeline or just notifications, whether you want to mute them from anyone or only people you don't follow, and how long you want the term to stay muted.
9. Hit Save at the top right of the screen to mute the word or phrase. If you want to add more terms, repeat again from step six.
Tips for muting terms on Twitter
Although the muting process is straightforward, in my experience, there's an art to successfully keeping unwanted terms off your timeline. I've learned two major tricks in my time trying to navigate around specific topics.
First, grab a thesaurus. As a longtime James Bond fan, I didn't want to hear anything about No Time to Die before I saw the movie. But I knew muting the title wouldn't be enough. I also muted the terms "Bond," "James Bond," "007" and "Daniel Craig" to shield myself from as many spoiler avenues as possible. Similarly, if you need a break from pandemic talk, I'd recommend muting words like "pandemic," "COVID," "COVID-19," "vaccine," "delta" and "omicron."
Also, choose the timeline that makes sense for you. Sometimes, you just want to dodge a topic for a day. Or maybe you just need to survive spoilers through the weekend until you can watch a movie. But there might be cases where you'll be better off muting a term forever. You can always edit your muted word settings, and your mental health should come first.