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How to Handle Unasked for DM and Text Requests

We are all so available online. If you have a website, there’s a contact form folks can use. Or they see your email address somewhere and send you messages you didn’t ask for.

Then, there are Direct Messages on social sites and Texts to your phones.

Being online we all pretty much understand that by being here we are opening ourselves up to being contacted. If you are on a social networking site for business or have a business page it goes without saying that you will get inquiries from those you don’t know. Both from providers and potential customers.

But what we are talking about today is personal non-business related unasked for messages.

What is DM and Text Etiquette?

Actually not much different than email etiquette! You do not arbitrarily contact folks you do not know or who don’t know you, just because you can. Here are some basics for your consideration:

Direct Messaging

  • SENDER: If Direct Messaging someone you don’t know be very clear why you are doing so and what your motives are. Courtesy and clarity matters.
  • RECIPIENT: You are not required to respond. If you do not know the person and they’ve not provided a valid reason why you would want to respond, ignore and delete.


  • SENDER: You’d better have a good reason to text someone you do not know. And you had better identify yourself so the recipient knows who you are and why you took the liberty to text them without their permission. (Yes, you should always ask permission to text someone — even those you know!)
  • RECIPIENT: No need to respond. There are even apps that send a message to texters who are not in your contact list letting them know how you handle texts from strangers.

When it comes to personal communications there is no reason to DM or text folks you do not know. Nor do those on the receiving end have any responsibility to respond.

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