I’ve never been a fan of Direct Messaging in Twitter. I use it more than I once did, but I as I use it I am ever aware of what I intuited when I first started with Twitter: DM is opposed in spirit to the openness and transparency that gives social media its value. The best use of it I’ve noticed is when slipping into actually business discussions that should be a bit private, but again and again it seems to be used as a kind of “commentary” channel to the public discourse. The temptation is to be even unpleasant, or at least judgemental to those we are otherwise exposing our smiling face. I have seen relationships significantly changed by the move from genuine public discourse to private DM, and I have seen my own social media be affected. DM seems a little like the Ring in the Lord of the Rings. It has powers, but as you use it it distorts your social media and the temptation is to use it more. When I no longer strain to get my point across in a public fashion, when I stop trying to include others in my conversation, I am no longer doing the “social” of social media, I’m no longer transparent.