If you're like so many other people out there, you routinely use social media sites like Instagram. Recently, Instagram made an important change to the way it handles direct messages, or DMs. These days, it is incorporating something called vanish mode. Whether you love it or hate it, it's important to know that it's there. It's even more important that you know how to use it.
What Is Vanish Mode?
Vanish mode is exactly what the name implies. It's something that you can use during your chat on Instagram to prevent other people from seeing it once the chat has been completed. In short, anyone who is in the chat will be able to see what you type but the moment that the last individual involved in that particular chat has actually read the message, it disappears in its entirety. No party is able to go back and re-read the message and those particular messages are not archived. Unless someone takes a screenshot of the message, there is no record of it whatsoever. If they do happen to take a screenshot, by the way, you are immediately notified. That may or may not prove helpful, but at least you know what's going on. That then gives you the opportunity to either be okay with the fact that someone screenshot your message or to contact that person and implore them to delete the screenshot. Of course, it's important to keep one thing in mind. If it's something that you feel like you need to hide, it's probably not a good idea for you to be posting it on social media in any capacity to begin with.
Why Should You Use It?
As previously mentioned, this is something that you can use whenever you aren't particularly fond of the idea of everyone having an ongoing record of something that you said. Of course, there is also a more practical reason to use this particular mode. It doesn't sit there in your archived messages, so it gives you an opportunity to have a conversation without cluttering up your DMs. That's vitally important if you happen to be someone who chats with other people a lot of the time. Obviously, you don't want your DMs to be so cluttered that it's virtually impossible to find anything. Neither do you want to have so many archived messages that it takes your Instagram forever to load every time you decide to go online. As a result, using vanish mode gives you an opportunity to continue chatting without having to deal with these problems in an ongoing fashion. It's also easy to use. When you're in your DMs, all you have to do is look at the bottom of the screen and then swipe up. You will be asked whether or not you want to engage in vanish mode. Select yes and you're on your way. When you're finished, you can exit vanish mode by either clicking on the accompanying tab or swiping down. It really doesn't get any easier and there are some genuine benefits to using it, as have been outlined above.
There are also some safety measures in place to make it more difficult for people to engage in activities they shouldn't be doing in the first place. Unfortunately, this is the kind of activity that sometimes becomes tempting to certain individuals when they find out that there are no archived messages. For starters, you can only engage vanish mode with people that you already follow. In other words, you can't DM somebody at random using vanish mode unless you both follow each other. In addition, both parties have to consent to using vanish mowed before it can be used. You don't have to worry about finding yourself in a situation where the other party engages it without your knowledge because it isn't possible to do so. You have to manually approve it. All of that means that it's harder for someone to stalk someone online or do something similar by sending them messages in vanish mode because you can't do it unless you follow that person and they choose to follow you back. This eliminates a number of potential problems that could exist with this particular mode, making it safer for all parties involved. As previously mentioned, you're also notified anytime someone decides to take a screenshot of the conversation. You can't stop them from taking a screenshot, but at least you can be made aware of what's going on. The same is true for anyone who decides to screen record the conversation as well.
When it's all said and done, this particular feature on Instagram is a lot like the feature that has made Snapchat so popular. People have the opportunity to engage in conversation, but there is no digital record kept of that conversation. This can definitely be a plus, especially when you don't want everything that you say to become a matter of public record. Having said that, it's vitally important that you remember that if you post something online, there is almost always a way for someone to get a hold of it. It sort of goes back to the age-old saying that if you're saying something that you would be embarrassed to say in front of your grandmother, you probably shouldn't say it online, either. Nevertheless, this feature is designed to make you feel a little bit safer about some of the conversations that you post while simultaneously serving the practical purpose of allowing you to have more of those conversations without cluttering up your DMs in the process. For some people, that's a huge bonus. Just remember to use the feature with a good dose of common sense.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith