If you didn't know already, Facebook has a vault of hidden messages. Before you freak out and text your friends about social media trying to control your life, there's more. Instagram and Twitter have a similar feature, which means there are maybe a few messages you missed. This secret inbox on Twitter may be a little hard to find if you aren't looking in the right place, and sometimes it's just helpful. If the person doesn't follow you, chances are you might not want to interact. This can do wonders for ignoring those creepy messages from not-so-potential suitors, ignoring people you haven't talked to in years with good reason, possible spam messaging, and people randomly asking you to sample their music.
On social media platforms like Twitter, it's a different way to approach privacy online. Instead of going through the process of blocking/reporting the people you don't want in your inbox, Twitter simply asks you to step aside and let them do it. Since your TL is already curated, in a way this is just Twitter curating your messages based on the people you like enough!
Twitter Support calls this the difference between a direct message or a request. If the person doesn't already follow you, their message will be seen as a request and can't be reviewed until it's accepted. This also applies to someone adding you to a group on Twitter where their might be a few who don't follow you.
In this case, everyone wins. The way Twitter views it, if they don't follow you, they don't matter. But that doesn't mean you can't take a look around if you're a little curious!
1. Open the Twitter app.
This might seem like a no brainer, but if you're using a Tweet deck, these instructions may not be so helpful. When you open the app on your phone, go to your profile under "me" in the bottom right corner. Why, yes, this is my account you're staring at!
2. Find your privacy settings.
On your profile there will be a small icon that looks like a gear. Select it and choose "settings and privacy."
3. Select "Privacy and Safety".
There will be a list of items under your screen name. When you choose "privacy and safety" you will receive more options including read receipts, photo tagging and protecting your tweets.
4. Choose "Receive Direct Messages from anyone".
There will be a swipe option available! Once you see the gray bubble swipe right and turn green, you're in business — from then on, you'll be able to see your "requests" in your inbox, which will look like this.
So if you don't want to see just who has been trying to slide into your DM box, that's fine. If you never "accept" their message request, you can skate by guilt free because they won't get a notification that you haven't read it yet. Isn't social media wonderful! This takes ghosting to a less rude, but still maddening level. Thanks, Twitter.