Sharing is caring …
Sharing is caring – often about ourselves and others. An urge to share can surely exist because we acknowledge that (the issue we want to share) is important to ourselves and/or possibly others. Sharing that issue can be cathartic, it can also increase confidence in our own ability to be open whilst dealing with issues.
Being part of an extended Mental Health community …
Being part of an extended MH community can mean that individuals offer support to one another, helping them with challenges as they happen real time. I’m a firm believer that shared experience is valuable.
Quick absorption of information …
Messages are only a 140 characters long. You’ve got to say it concisely, without the frills. Communicating is a fast process and absorption quick.
Stigma and Myth Busting …
With stigma and MH myths very much still a real issue, Twitter can offer a platform for individuals to to honest about the daily challenges that they face – in a community that for the most part, respects those difficulties. What better way of busting MH myths than saying it as it is. People’s perceptions of MH and MH challenges can very often be ill-found or misguided.
Twitter is highly interactive which means that we can easily learn about ourselves and about others through interaction. It’s accessible from anywhere and can be a great tool for micro-blogging about life or certain issues that are important to us as they happen.
This is where the line goes a bit blurry for some …
Twitter is instant. An individual can share an idea at any given moment, instantly. That can be a great thing – e.g.,you can communicate a powerful message about a timely topic in a manor that has a real possibility of influencing other users. Although sometimes, time for reflection before publishing can be more valuable. We are the editors of our own story to a degree on Twitter. Some individuals worry more about their ‘editorial line’ and how ‘personal’ the messages they share are.
Some will argue ‘Twitter Ah! it’s not real. Go out to the real world and live your life!’ I’d argue that Twitter is as real as any other known form of reality – mostly constructed. Proving whether or not reality itself is an illusion is difficult, even to the brightest thinkers. Twitter is a world and space where connections are made and ideas nurtured /shared. Policy changes can start out on Twitter. So, what makes this any less real?
Time spent on Twitter could always be spent alternatively, doing something creative, self-soothing or learning new skills. Some say that time in the Twitterverse saps productivity. I suppose that depends on your definition of productive.
2D User Portrayal
Twitter can make individuals look 2Dimensional or dominated by certain issue/issues. However, it should be kept in mind that it’s a platform that some choose to use in order to deal with certain topic or issues. It’s very rarely a 3D reflection of an Users life or character. It’s a microcosm world in miniature, an unity that is an epitome of a larger unity.
User intentions aren’t always clear
Why do people use Twitter? User intentions aren’t always clear and there’s always an element of risk involved in using social media. Some friends and courageous MH advocates have been deliberately targeted by trolls, threatened and abused. Being in such a situation can make an User really vulnerable and in extreme cases can cause huge personal distress. A red flag that Twitter is an open, public space – where anything much can happen.