Even as someone who constantly writes about and offers advice on love, sex and relationships, I must say that I find dating in the 21st century to be somewhat challenging at times. It seems like there are all of these so-called rules that you’re supposed to follow.

“Wait two days to call someone, otherwise you’ll come off as desperate.”

“Date multiple people. No one is supposed to occupy all of your time in the beginning.”

“Don’t order the lobster on the first date or he’ll think you’re a gold digger.”

“Sex on the first date is only cool if you’re not interested in seeing him again.”

Damn, I got exhausted just typing those.

It’s no wonder some folk have decided to make social media their new dating pool.  It can simplify the act of rolling up on a potential love interest with minimum awkwardness.  (Easier than the old-school way of sending over a drink or approaching someone in the grocery aisle, right?) A DM or “like” could open the door to some serious hooking up or a meaningful match if that’s your desire, but there’s a way to go about it.  Some of y’all are out here doing the most on a public platform.

If you’re in denial that I am talking to you, here are five clear signs that you just might be openly thirsting on Facebook.

1. Most of your friends are people who you are interested in.

A couple of years ago, I had to have a serious conversation with one of my homeboys. One day I happened to notice that we were friends with a lot of the same people, but there wasn’t an obvious reason why. It turns out that he didn’t know a majority of the women he befriended from my list on Facebook. In fact, he admitted to going through my friends list to look for and add women. If 596 of your 620 friends on Facebook are people that you don’t know, have had some sort of romantic tie/interest in and/or have only been added for potential hookup purposes, you might be messing up. And trust me, people do pay attention to that sort of thing.

2. You’re known as the “inbox bandit.”

In the age of screenshots and savage statuses, it’s best not to send twenty different people the same message telling them how fine they are, especially if half of them are part of the same circle. But that’s exactly what a member of one of the social media groups I’m in did, and it earned him the nickname of “Inbox Bandit.”

An inbox bandit is someone who you will never take seriously, because you’re pretty sure he or she is copying and pasting messages sent to you to several other people. You come to expect to hear from them like clockwork, because they tend to consistently offer the same generic compliments. The bandit might have his or her consistency down pat, but they lack sincerity. While there’s nothing wrong with shooting your shot with more than one person, you have to make sure that you’re authentic in your communication. Otherwise you won’t get further than a message “seen.”

3. You make it known to the world that you’re in lust, even on random posts.

We all have seen that one guy or girl who is just hella thirsty. Ain’t no way around it. Every time you put a status up, they’re commenting with an “I’ll take you out,” or an “I’d love to do x,y,z with your sexy ass” response. If you happen to be one of these people STOP NOW, especially if your advances aren’t being met with a similar response. If he or she likes every other comment except for yours, STOP NOW. If he or she ignores you every time you make a very public advance, STOP NOW. We get it: you think your Facebook boo is fine. But telling a person about your feelings on every post is just plain creepy. Plus, some folks prefer to keep their business offline. The minute you post things like this publicly, you rob them of that right.

4. Your advances are ignored.

Few things are sadder than constantly shooting your shot with no luck. But one thing that is definitely nastier that being rejected is being rejected publicly. If someone isn’t rocking with you on the romantic tip, it will be obvious. Even the person who never replies to your advances under a Facebook status will DM you if they’re interested at some point. If you continuously come at someone who is not feeling you and/or acting like you don’t exist, it isn’t tenacity.  It’s annoying.  YOU will continue to get ignored and eventually blocked, talked about and screen-shotted.

5. People have told you so.

When someone tells you that your actions appear desperate, listen to them. Because at this point, there is no guessing game as to whether you’re doing too much. You can only hope that it’s coming from a friend who gives a damn and not from your crush.

Being thirsty isn’t being who you are. It is allowing desperation to take over your actions and ultimately secure you a place in the lonely room. Take your time, work to establish an authentic connection with someone you like and maybe you’ll get out of the inbox and into their lives.

Shantell E. Jamison is an editor for EBONY.com and JETMAG.com. Not confined to chasing headlines, this Chicago-based, writer, radio personality and cultural critic is also the author of, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self.”