The Ins and Outs of Twitter Flirting

Categories: internets

How can I tell if someone is flirting with me on Twitter? Emails and texts lack the intonation of verbal courtship, but Twitter totally slices the length. And interactions on Twitter always sort of seem like flirting because they're so cutesy/brief. Not to mention the ;)'s!


Gone are the halcyon days of our youth when flirting involved little more than a 40oz and a basic cable connection. That said, I always assume people are flirting with me on Twitter. Especially Wilford Brimley. Before he blocked me, anyway. (You can't spell "diabeetus" without US, my heart!) Here's a short list of ways I've successfully seduced people on Twitter: Knowing what a homonym is, making inappropriate references to nachos, and including the hashtag #BeMyBabyDaddy. So you see, online flirtation is a rich tapestry of contradiction and one that is best done by sexualizing Mexican fast food and bastard children.  

Other indicators that someone is twitter flirting with you, or "twirting" as I hope NO ONE ever calls it again after this moment.

They use winky or suggestive emoticons. "Let's go back to my house and #? ;)"

They retweet and comment on your updates regularly. And often with witty or humorous asides thrown in for taste. This is the technological equivalent to caring about a potential sex partner's stupid fantasy football league, or equivalent.

They oblige you by LOLing even when you make terrible jokes about Wilford Brimley. 

They reference inside jokes the two of you share. 

They send you twitpics of their pubic mound.

They compliment you, duh. One Twitter dating site (oh yes, they exist) suggests asking "Where did you get that fantastic smile?" which is a surefire way to "ignite online sparks" unless they acquired said smile in the modular cube aisle of The Container Store.

They write something suggestive in a DM (direct message) to you, and not for the whole twittersphere to read.

They write haiku about you, or any poetry actually. For instance,

You and I go
together like peanut butter
and prescription drugs!

was how I proposed to my favorite Subway Sandwich Artist. Then I told him to "spread 'em" and he was like, please stop saying that about the $5 footlongs.

They are not afraid to reach across the internet and take you by the handle. Chicks love that. Oh, and singing, "On the Wings of Love" at karaoke bars. They love that too. 

Now get out there and show me your twits!

Social-media mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette involving technology, shoot her a question at

Follow us on Twitter: @annapulley or @SFWeekly
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