Before I really get into the meat of this post, I would like to note that being creepy is not particular to men. Being a woman, however, I tend to see the creepy men more than women. Yes, yes, #notallmen. That’s not the point. The point is that there are an inordinate number of men who don’t seem to understand that the entire social web is not one big dating site, and it is to these men that this post is addressed.

We’re on LinkedIn, not Tinder.

If you find yourself having to preface a message to a woman with, “I know this is a professional networking site, but …” – Stop. Right. There.

People are on LinkedIn to connect with people they’ve worked with, to connect with people in the same profession to share tips and tools of the trade, to connect with people they’d like to work with.

People are not on LinkedIn to get a date or find their soul mate. If they are, they are doing it wrong anyway and should get an account on eHarmony or OKCupid.

If the woman responds to you by thanking you for your kindness, but no, this really isn’t an appropriate use of the platform, don’t continue to stalk her profile (she sees you!), because you then become the scary creepy guy and not just the creepy guy.

My smile does not mean I am your soulmate.

I am smiling in most photos on Facebook. Isn’t that what Facebook is about? Showing people how amazing our own lives are? (I kid. Sort of.) My smile is not directed at you.

I suppose I could be flattered that my smile was so compelling that you felt it necessary to flood my “other” inbox with messages like, “Hello beautiful one How are you doing ? Honestly i feel so honored to meet such a beautiful woman like you here now, I have been going through your pictures here for over some hours and have been caught fully by your Angelic beauty…”

We’ve never met, and this sounds crazy, I like your Facebook photo, so call me, maybe?

I have no illusions that I am unique, nor that most of these people are even genuine. I’m sure more than half the “offers” in my “Other” inbox are nothing more than phishing expeditions. Plus, every single woman I know has an “Other” inbox on Facebook that resembles mine.

But why is that message creepy (I copy-pasted it from my inbox, it’s real)? He’s honored? He calls me beautiful!

He’s been going through my pictures for “some hours”??? There is no planet on which that is not creepy. (Note: If you’re a guy, and some woman sent you a message saying she’d been looking through your photos for hours and was captivated by you, you’d have scenes from Fatal Attraction going through your mind, don’t even pretend you wouldn’t. Unless you’re too young to have ever seen Fatal Attraction, in which case, I’ll wait while you go to IMDB to look it up.)

My Twitter account is private for a reason.

No, not mine. But I know people who do have private accounts on Twitter. It means they have to allow you to see their tweets.

If someone has a locked, private account, it is not an affront against you. It is her prerogative. She is not required to let you follow and see her tweets. She also can block you if she doesn’t want to see what you have to say. Guess what? You can block her, too, if she bothers you.

Creating new accounts to get around a block or to try to trick someone into letting you follow her is creepy.

And … scene.

The point is not, as I said at the start, that all men are like this. I know men. Many men are friends of mine. You, sir, if you are doing any of the things in this post, are creepy.

Published on: Aug 10, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.