When it's OK to slide into my DMs - and when it definitely isn't

The fact that this needs to be said is pretty disappointing!

When it’s OK to slide into my DMs:

  • to be friendly and say hi!

  • to ask a question/give feedback on one of my blog posts or podcast episodes

  • to tell me that you’re struggling (I can’t give 1 on 1 advice on mental health issues, but I can listen)

  • to show some love and support

  • to ask about the work I do for mental health awareness, or find out if we can work together

When it’s not OK to slide into my DMs:

  • when I’ve not replied to the 78 messages you’ve already sent

  • to reduce all my accomplishments and hard work to random compliments about my looks - NOT that I think this is nasty, but it does perpetuate the idea that my value lies in my appearance - it’s 2018, let’s move away from this please.

  • when I’ve expressed vulnerability and you decide to make your sexual advances

  • when I’ve not expressed vulnerability and you decide to make your un-encouraged sexual advances

Seriously. You’re not invited. Fuck off.

When it’s OK to slide into my DMs:

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When it’s NOT OK to slide into my DMs:

(PG edition)

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There are plenty of times in life where it IS appropriate to send a sexy message - approaching a stranger on the internet, mid-panic attack, is absolutely not that time. The more vocal I am about panic attacks, the more messages stream in. The more I am struggling in that moment, the more forward the messages are.

I think there IS absolutely a problem with vulnerable people being preyed on, both online and off. It’s absolutely NOT OK to hit on someone mid panic attack. I don’t accept that any of the messages above came in with good intentions - those are the non-explicit messages that I feel comfortable sharing - they’re the tip of the iceberg.

I know that most of you will feel uncomfortable knowing that there are people out there who are taking advantage of the vulnerable. These messages were all sent to me personally; unfortunately I’m hearing similar reports from other female bloggers more and more often. I’m sure that this isn’t exclusive to women, I’m sure there are men out there who have had to deal with similar bullshit.

If you have previously “slid into someone’s DMs” in this way, then stop. It’s really that simple. This is not the approach you should be taking. Think about whether or not you’d say it to a total stranger on the street, then re-assess whether you want to say it online. I, for one, can’t wait until Twitter verifies all accounts and this kind of predatory behaviour can no longer be anonymous.

USING MY PANIC ATTACK AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO STRIKE UP A SEXUAL CONVERSATION IS PERPETUATING RAPE CULTURE.

It’s frightening to speak out about inappropriate messages - particularly if you’re already feeling vulnerable and/or the person who is sending you these messages has a large following or is well regarded. You don’t have to publicly share the messages, you can report accounts through Twitter and/or the police. You have the right to create a safe space for yourself and other people online.

You are not alone.


Thank you to every one who has sent a kind message (to me or anyone else) of support or love, when they have needed it most; believe me when I say that you make the world go round, especially my world - you’re awesome.

Anneli Roberts2 Comments