I've just discovered the Chrome extension Proxlet, and I swear it's going to change my life for the better. Now you can mute people, hashtags or Foursquare tweets from your feed - even if you're not actually following them.
Unfortunately, it only works with the new Twitter, not the old. So if you've been holding out on the flashier version like I have, it's a rude awakening - but I swear, Proxlet will make life all the better for it. Several apps and clients, such as TweetDeck, Twidroyd and Twitter for iPhone are also compatible with Proxlet.
After downloading the extension and switching into the new version of Twitter, you'll notice each tweet (whether in your timeline, or by venturing onto your enemies' account - you don't even have to be following them!) now has a little "proxlet" command that appears when you hover over it. Just to the right of "reply", "retweet" and "favorite."
Clicking the "proxlet" button makes a pop-up box appear, with various options. Do I want to mute Justin Bieber (even though I'm not following him in the first place) from my feed for just one day, or for a week, or forever? Bear in mind that when muting users who you don't actually follow, you're simply silencing retweets of them from appearing in your feed.
You can even make those hashtagged tweets disappear too. Is the excessive tweeting about American Idol wearing you down? Or those live tweets from a particularly boring trade show? You can also choose to silence them for a chosen period of time.
I've only started using Proxlet today, and needless to say that it's a bit difficult determining whether it's actually working, as after muting someone you can no longer see their tweets in your feed. If you go over to their profile page though, their tweets are no longer visible. This is a surefire way for cutting out your exes for good, and ensuring you don't cyber-stalk enemies either - if you're blessed with enough time to actually bother with such tripe exercises, that is.
The only thing I'm not particularly happy with is the fact that all my tweets are now displaying "Proxlet" as my method of communication. Once Proxlet catches on - and it will, my friends - it's just going to add a whole new passive-aggressive layer to the micro-blogging platform, as people don't have to risk friends' wrath by actually unfollowing them.
Now, did you mute someone Apple-obsessed forever, but have they just come to their senses and realised that, actually, other companies make brilliant products too? De-mute them by going to Proxlet.com and issuing a "@justinbieber 1 minute" command. It's not the intuitive way of de-muting someone, but supposedly the developers are working on better ways. Failing that, you could always input the "clear" command to win good karma points for life. [Proxlet via Swiss-Miss]