Let’s just say it, as social media becomes an ever-increasing part of our lives, crushing on someone can quickly toe the lines of soft-core stalking and stage-5 clinging. The truth is, as we become more connected, our abilities to interact with people on non-creeper levels dissipates. Have a crush on someone? Better not stalk his or her Instagram and accidentally “like” a picture from 63 weeks ago… it’s a surefire way to make sure you’re excommunicated immediately. Follow these tips to crush correctly in our plugged-in world:

Stick to the phone.

Keep communication limited to the medium on which you initially connected. If that’s the phone, stick to the phone. If it’s Facebook, let it be Facebook. As a guy, there’s a really good chance you’re going to come across as a super creep if after a day of having a girl’s number, you’re all the sudden following her on Instagram, Twitter, have already friended her on Facebook and connected on LinkedIn. FAIL.

If you’re going to creep, creep on.

Listen, it’s very easy to get a social media view on a person without going overboard. You don’t have to instantly friend request, follow or whatever. Play it cool — it’s coy. Just because you hit it off with someone and got a number doesn’t mean you have to go nuts. Think of it in strip club terms: look, but don’t touch. Feel free to check out her page, but wait until she friend requests you first.

Stop being lazy, be a romantic.

Nothing crazy, like an unsolicited sext. But for example, if you know where she works or lives, do something different and send a handwritten note. It shows you’re thoughtful. It’ll definitely score you some brownie points with your crush.

Don’t go the “??????” route.

When you’re just beginning to talk to someone, it’s easy to get too comfortable in your texting regimen. Have you ever sent a text that’s just a bunch of question marks? Hope not — it’s aggressive and desperate. At this point, you are your own worst enemy. Never, I repeat, NEVER, text just “??????”.

Differentiate yourself.

Crushing is different today than it was before social media exploded. No more doodles and hearts in your school notebooks. It’s time you differentiate yourself from your peers. Maybe that means sending flowers, or maybe it means just picking up the phone and calling instead of sending a text. The key to successful crushing is to establish yourself as unique. Don’t follow clichéd “rules.” Be yourself, but not a creeper.