“Hey you. Your picture showed up on my feed. Love the kicks :)” There, I just slid into your DMs. Let me start by listing the most common things to do these days. First, put butter on toast. Second, lay in bed all day and binge-watch series (I can set a new record). And third, slide into DMs. No, I’m not lazy. It’s all an art, okay?

Let’s face it, sadly, that the era of handwritten letters wrapped in an envelope with cutesy flowers and a wax seal, are all Bye, Felicia now. And what’s sadder is that “Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven” pick up line won’t work anymore either. But what’s saddest of them all is that you can’t even check out hot men at a bar anymore (not with those masks on at least), forget approaching them. Eww, Covid! (cue Alexis from Schitt’s Creek). But hey, there’s still hope. If he’s leaving fire emojis on your selfies, taking the effort to scroll down and like multiple pictures of yours from 2020 BC (Before Covid, hehe) and reacting with lovestruck emojis on your stories — DM him. He’s interested. Duh. It’s as obvious as having a ball of a time after five tequila shots. Now you got to give it a shot, girl.

Sounds easy peasy, no? Just kidding. With the amount of thought and anxiety that goes into sliding into someone’s DMs, it could easily be an Olympic sport. The pandemic switched things up a little (a lot, actually, but let’s focus on this right now). Men do it first? Only creeps? Nope. Look around. We’re stalking each other all day, all night. That’s the sole purpose of being on Instagram, right? If I had to upload pictures for my own sake, I would have done it in a hard drive that only I can access. Why use hashtags and make myself more visible to strangers?

Tinder can be thoroughly disappointing, sometimes. You can’t tell the tone of the person, if he’s funny in person or a boring piece of plank, what his friends look like, what he enjoys eating, which sneakers he’s waiting to buy, who his ex was, who she was friends with, which concert he last attended, who his best friends are, the people he meets regularly, and what was the last meal he ate. No, we’re not stalking. We’re just gathering important information for specific purposes. Here are the upsides of Instagram: Easy access, rejection doesn’t feel half as worse, and you can hit up as many admirers/ admirees (is that even a word?) as you like. Safe to say, a 5-minute IG stalk reveals more than a week-long chat on Tinder. Don’t worry, if the DM goes wrong, you can always ignore, delete, block, and forget it ever happened. Give it a try, don’t be shy.

Before you slide, here’s a pro tip: Check your crush’s ‘tagged’ pictures. (That says a lot about who they really are.) And here’s what you should keep in mind: Start a conversation. For example: “I tried this restaurant a couple of months back. Are they still serving the Strawberry-Pretzel tart?” Don’t be persistent. Refrain from using cheesy pick-up lines. Those are gross. Oh, and also avoid an overload of emojis. It worked for me. Just four days before writing this piece, I slid into this boy’s DMs, and boy oh boy, best decision ever. We’ve been sexting nonstop, sharing wild reels, and flirting like nobody’s business. It’s totally possible that this could happen to you too.

Although, I’m not going to lie, there is something oddly satisfying about men who are ‘off the grid’. There’s that urge to stalk them but you know, you’ll probably have to slide into their LinkedIn. LOL. That’ll be a nice story to tell your kids. I’m going to try sliding into RegéJean Page’s DMs next. Hope this article gets your hope alive, for you never know which truck full of love (or lust) will come and hit you one day. So crack those knuckles, work those fingers and get slidin’.