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Don't DM Me Into Your Drama — Direct Message Do's and Don'ts

twitter-direct-messageTwitter Direct Messages are sacred — they shouldn’t be spammed with auto-dm’s, self promotion, and most definitely not, with unsolicited drama!

I consider DMs an intimate form of communication on Twitter.

After tweeting back and forth, a relationship may move on to Direct Messages. I may invite someone to Direct Message me on a matter or to continue a conversation in DMs so as not to clog up our streams, and vice versa.

In those cases, we have become friends and I want to dedicate that extra time to you. And, most importantly, I feel like I can trust your discretion with what you DM me.

These are appropriate interactions that deserve the attention that a Twitter DM demands.

However, there are times when sending someone a private message is not cool. And I think, after auto-DMs, the biggest offender is to DM your drama!

Over the years, I have received unsolicited Twitter DMs that attempt to bring me into the sender’s personal online drama. When I get them, I am stunned. Why are you sending this to me? Do you need to run up to me on the playground and whisper into my ear what so and so did so that you guarantee my alliance in your feud?

If I am not involved, if I have not asked you anything that would prompt you to divulge this information, or if we are not close confidants who regularly seek out one another for advice, then it is unlikely that I need to be informed of your situation.

Want to know how to respect Direct Messaging?

Direct Message Do’s and Don’ts

DO — DM extended one-on-one conversations instead of keeping them on the public stream
DO – DM friends to chat or check in with one another
DO — DM to arrange further communications, meetings, etc
DO – DM close friends and network for occasional RT’s, help, promotion, support

DON’T – DM unsolicited drama and personal problems unless recipient is a close confidant
DON’T — DM auto messages of any kind, including auto DM’s to new followers
DON’T — DM friends asking them to vote for you, except in very special circumstances
DON’T — DM spam asking people to constantly RT or promote your links and tweets


BASICALLY, the netiquette of direct messaging on Twitter comes down to relationships!

What is the strength and depth of that relationship? What is appropriate for that friendship? And, especially, is the DM going to build or damage that relationship?

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