A DM slide is the act of greasing into someone’s Direct Messages inbox on Twitter or Instagram with the intention of having some private banter. It’s a way to take an otherwise public conversation discreetly into one-on-one territory. Ordinarily, it happens between two people who follow each other, so you should be relatively protected from total strangers. Except, of course, for any brave souls who leave their DMs open, meaning the approach could come from literally anyone.
It’s a sacred space, the social media DM inbox, so the DM slide must be done with tact, respect and aplomb. Unfortunately, many DM sliders fail in their pursuit to be smooth – and come across as creepy, sleazy or inappropriate. The perpetrator of a bad DM slide tends to misjudge their welcomeness in a person’s inbox, disrespect someone’s personal boundaries or seek to turn something platonic into romance when the feeling is not reciprocated. It’s a delicate, fraught move that can go wrong in many ways.
Thankfully, tech journalist and author of the new book Digital Etiquette, Victoria Turk is here with some expert guidance on the matter of sliding into one’s DMs. Here, she takes us through the new rules. Before slinking into someone’s inbox, regard them carefully and proceed with caution.