Read receipts are making it increasingly difficult to ignore someone when you hop back online. Although read receipts were made to enhance communication between friends, they’re enslaving us by making us appear always available to every text once it’s sent to us either on WhatsApp, Twitter DMs, Instagram DMs, Messenger among other chat apps.

The question is why do you need to be constantly at people’s beck and call – in either your professional or in my personal relationships? These apps are supposed to bring us joy now give us immense discomfort.

Get back to your “incognito mode” of scrolling through your social media platforms without the anxiety and if you get the time to reply, the “Sorry, I wasn’t ignoring you, I just haven’t been on Instagram/WhatsApp/Messenger/Twitter lately” excuse and then act on what the text or message you received earlier on wanted.

Disabling read receipts is so liberating as it breaks our digital chains and you’ll feel less burdened to instantly reply. The other second bird this same stone kills is you now get to set boundaries between your relationships with your friends – You’ll reply to them but when I have the time. Also, they’ll be more thoughtful and detailed responses. With these tips, you’ll start freaking out less when that message goes unreplied.

Disabling read receipts is so liberating!!

Here’s how to go about it on various platforms:


On WhatsApp, the option to disable read receipts goes both ways as everyone (including you) can’t see read receipts. One thing to note is that read receipts are always enabled for group chats.

Go to WhatsApp’s in-app settings, go to Account > Privacy > Read Receipts and toggle them on or off.

Facebook Messenger

There’s no way to disable read receipts on Mark Zuckerberg’s platform because they want to guilt people into replying right away according to one Facebook engineer even though they’re looking to bring this feature but only for the weekends. With this, you are left with not using the app or getting an extension. Another reason to quit it, Facebook doesn’t even encrypt said messages.

You can’t disable the app so what I’ve done is block my friends on Messenger from sending me a message on the platform and only contact me through other more privacy-focused chat apps.

Apple Messages

Unlike WhatsApp, you get more options on Apple Messages app on who you want to enable or disable read receipts. You can do it for all people or selected few such as family or close friends. You can do this by just tapping the “Info” button in a message thread and on the next screen toggle your preferences.

Twitter DMs

Twitter allows you to disable read receipts. Go to Twitter account settings > Privacy and safety > Direct Messages > Toggle on or off read receipts. Similar to WhatsApp, this option goes both ways – everyone, including you, won’t be able to see when someone has read your DMs.

Instagram DMs

Instagram DM activity was one of the most annoying updates Instagram got last year because people can now see when you’re online.


The notifications appear in the light grey text beneath your followers’ names in your inbox. The statuses include “seen”, “typing”, “active yesterday”, and “active 12m ago”. If you don’t like replying in time, you can go ahead and hide your status.

Go to your Profile > Options(Gear icon) > SettingsShow Activity Status and toggle it off. Similarly to Twitter DMs and WhatsApp, when you toggle it off, you won’t be able to see statuses for anyone else.

Disable read receipts and breathe a sigh of relief

It’s 2019 and read receipts should be off by default just like in dating apps such as Tinder and Bumbe. Personally, I hate being available 24/7. I want to be able to choose not to answer something instantly. Turning read receipts them off will save your relationships and also there’s nothing more awkward than the confrontation with your friend who got the receipts.

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