Have you sent me or someone else a DM (or perhaps 10) on Twitter and not seen a response? There seems to be an escalating amount of DMs (otherwise known as direct messages or messages sent exclusively to another person that nobody else can see—that is, until you press the wrong button a la Anthony Weiner and it goes public, but that’s another story…) coming across my Twitter account each day.
Anyways, I don’t respond to most DMs and here’s why.
I didn’t see it
Most of the DMs I get seem to be spam of some sort. This is either the automatic DM after following someone (I’m not sure why anyone thinks this is a good idea, but many still do it), some DM that has a virus obviously embedded in it (e.g. “Someone’s posting nasty blogs about you online, click here to see!”) or just weird general spam.
I don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter and because I am busy and trying to do work that I get paid for, I don’t have Twitter connected to my main work email address. Therefore, I don’t see DMs in my regular email and when my staff is cleaning up the Twitter emails, they usually bulk delete DMs. So, the chances that I see it to begin with are rather small.
I thought it was spam
If I do see your DM, there’s a good chance that if it’s cryptic, I will assume it is spam. A well-known friend of mine sent me a DM recently asking me to help with something and the 140 characters were so generic that I thought it was spam. I contacted him back and in this case it wasn’t. However, usually if I think it is spam, I don’t take the time to check it out- I just skip it. This goes for DMs that say “this is not spam”- I tend to err on the side of being skeptical.
It was creepy or inappropriate
Let me be clear- I am a happily married individual and I am not interested in your come-ons and innuendos, period. So, if you send me DMs that you think are cute, sexy or engaging, in my eyes, they are probably creepy and inappropriate. I just flat out do not acknowledge these, so stop sending them; it’s not going to happen- ever. Plus, I add you to my list of people’s houses that the police should check under should I go missing.
It wasn’t reflective of our relationship
I seem to get a lot of DMs asking for favors or advice from people that I barely know and haven’t built any real relationship with, even on Twitter. If you have real advice that you are seeking, I am probably not going to be able to put it out in 140 characters. If it’s broad advice and I do want to share, I will probably want to do that publicly so that all of my followers can have the benefit of the insights. If you are asking me something in a DM that’s doesn’t feel right, the DM may end up unanswered.
Twitter is not my preferred method of direct communication. As I mentioned above, I am very busy and so I try to stick to other forms of communication for important matters. Twitter moves so quickly that I may have seen your DM come across, but since I wasn’t on Twitter, I didn’t reply and in getting so many messages coming through, I just plain forgot to respond. If you have something important, DMs are probably not the best way to reach me.
What are your thoughts on DMs? Do you love them or hate them? Share below.