Virginia Mason’s Blog

January 14, 2009

Twitter: An Asylum of sorts

Filed under: Uncategorized — virginiamason @ 12:14 pm

The 7 Things You Don’t know About Me meme has entertained me considerably this week. I’ve read quite a few in the last few days, and you know what I’ve determined? Most (though probably not all) Twitterers are nuts. (I admit, my sample is probably skewed by the folks I’ve chosen to follow.) Insane is a little harsh. Nuts. Is everybody burdened with low self esteem? Attention deficit disorders? Reliance on mind meds? But, especially, what are all these social misfits doing on very-social Twitter?

Before anybody gets offended, let me change the pronouns from “them” to “us.” Not “what are they…” but “what are we….” I was a normal child (I seem to remember it so, anyway) to whom something bad happened. Damaged psyche; I was never the same again. On top of that, about 10 years ago I had an accident which left me with a broken skull and a fairly severe brain injury. My neurosurgeon said to not do that again as I’d become a vegetable. Ok (like I meant to do it the first time). For those of you who haven’t experienced it, you’re left with some dismaying sequelae. As my primary care physician put it, “Brain injury changes one’s personality, almost always for the worse.” This woman is the bluntest person I’ve ever met. And I actually like her; how perverse is that? Her bedside manner runs along the line of “if it doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger.” But she seems to have been right. Once upon a time I could out-Job Job in the patience department. Now I have a volcanic temper: short-fused and violent. I also have no working memory, which causes extreme frustration. We brain-injured people can’t handle stress well, either. Like so many other Twitterers, I’m ‘way too familiar with Wellbutrin, Prozac, and other psychotropic drugs. Instead of the usual up-and-down (normal) emotional ride, I flatline it. On top of all that, I’m pretty much asocial. Some of us may be anti-social. So, I’m nuts, too.

We’d pretty much prefer to be alone. Why, then, are so many drawn to Twitter? Why are we asocial  beings involved in such a primarily social network? A community. What a concept! Something we’d usually avoid like the plague.  Because – ta da – our emotional disturbances are not the primary defining factors of our life on Twitter. People we meet don’t automatically cross the street to avoid us, as if we carry some malign, contagious disease. We are, instead, valued for our humor, intelligence, perceptivity, insight, and other appreciated values, just like “normal” people. Perhaps people who’ve never experienced emotional problems can’t empathize with us. Sympathize, maybe. But the really important thing is that it doesn’t have to be acknowledged; maybe it’s not even noticed. A reader doesn’t have to “make allowances,” tread carefully, feel responsible…. Nobody can fix it, and the really good part is that nobody feels the need to try. We’re okay as is. We become, on Twitter, just normal folk. Hallelujah! Somewhere, in some way, perhaps for the only time, we fit in just fine, thank you.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] around. Here, it’s really what you’re feeling. More honest, open communications and an outlet for expression […]

    Pingback by Portland, Infinitiy, and Beyond « Jonathan Eunice’s Weblog — January 16, 2009 @ 11:48 am


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