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Etiquette PSA 

When messaging a stranger, DO NOT just greet them. ALWAYS include an indication of what you want to talk to them about!

Messages with an unclear intent can easily make for an awkward or anxious situation, especially if one/both of you can't reply right away. They make it hard for busy people to prioritise, since they don't know if your message is work or casual. For these reasons, some people just ignore greeting-only messages.

Everyone's better off if you state your intent :D

Examples:

Bad: "Hi!"
Good: "Hi! Are you open for art commissions?"

Talking/asking about prior work doesn't count since it doesn't state your intentions.
Bad: "Hello! I saw your work on [project]."
Good: "Hello! I saw your work on [project] and wanted to know how you achieved [cool thing]."

Even if you just want to become friends and have no specific desire, you should start by introducing a topic of conversation. You're the one reaching out, it's your job to get the conversation going xP

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Etiquette PSA 

@eishiya good advice!! social situations are not my forte so its always nice to see helpful tips like these

Etiquette PSA 

@eishiya Yes, thanks for writing this!

And if a subject line is available (e.g. in e-mails, on FurAffinity, deviantART, ...) it's really helpful if it summarizes the content of the message. 🙈
This is also handy if someone has to find an old message again.

Examples:
Bad: "Hi" / ":3"
Good: "Inquiry about commissions" / "Question about payment"

Etiquette PSA 

@eishiya i'd apply this even to people one knows! trying to come up with small talk out of nothing is an awfully presumptuous demand

@carcinopithecus Agreed! But, with people you know, it's much easier to establish what's appropriate, since, well, you know them :D

Etiquette PSA 

@eishiya You are absolutely right. As a previous violator of this very simple rule let me say thank you for moving the conversation forward.

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