Down with the DMs: Alternative Ways to Flirt on Social Media


illustration by Tiffany Huang

It’s Thursday night. You decide to wind down from the week with a glass of wine, or two, or five. As you and your roommates argue over whether to order late night Calios or Jimmy Johns, your phone buzzes. 

Your heart races at the idea that it might be your boyfriend (who doesn’t know he’s your boyfriend) with some affirmation of his love — you’ve been sending him mixed signals and drunk texts since sophomore year, what’s taking him so long? 

No such luck. It’s that guy you matched with on Tinder two nights ago after you had one too many beers during flip. He looked a little cute in his third picture when your brightness was only halfway up, right? 

“You up?” says Tinder Boy. 

You roll your eyes. Any interest you may have had in him disappeared as soon as that painfully unoriginal message popped up in your DMs. 

Sliding into someone’s DMs has become sort of an epidemic among millennials. Between Instagram, Tinder and Snapchat, there is always an app through which you can send and receive late-night misspelled booty calls, "wyd"’s and the occasional unsolicited nude. 

But, take it from us: It’s getting old. So, let’s try to be a little more original. The app store is full of ways to communicate – so let’s get dirty outside the DMs. 

Instead of staring at that hollow arrow on Snapchat second guessing the half-blurry and entirely unflattering selfie you just blasted to every potential fuck buddy on your friends list, class it up a bit by connecting with them on LinkedIn. You’re just ~networking~ and it will seem like you have your shit together — at least a little bit. And hey, if things go well and you’re particularly impressed with their skills (wink) then you can endorse them. Goals. 

Want something more direct? Think Venmo. Try sending your crush 15 bucks with the message “wings on me” complete with one of the many tasteful tongue-out emojis. If that doesn’t get the person you’re into a little hot and bothered, then maybe you should set your sights elsewhere, because who needs that type of negativity in their life? Good thing Netflix and chill is free. 

Feeling shy? Instead of screenshotting every message and sending it to your group chat to overanalyze, why not just bring your wingmen right into the conversation? Start a group video chat on Houseparty with your potential hook up, your best friends, your cousin’s best friend, your ex, your mom and that girl who you sit next to in lecture sometimes and let them talk you up. You’re a package deal, right? 

If all else fails, turn to GrubHub. Order your favorite takeout, write “wyd?” in the special comments or concerns section, put on your sexiest pair of sweatpants, and hope for a cute delivery guy. In 45 minutes to an hour, someone will be at your door. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet the love of your life carrying a Domino's pizza box, and if you’re unlucky, you’ll still have the pizza. Win-win?