Twitter and ADHD
Getting back to writing this blog after such a long hiatus feels like the first time I tried to ride a bike. A 5-year-old scared witless at a metal beast whose squeaks of its wheel seemed to sneer at any one who dare tame it.
My movements were pretty awkward as I tried get it moving while being afraid of my lack control and that no one would catch me if I fell and I did multiples times. By the end of the first week my body was adorned in scabs of defeat but I still kept getting on the bike. After awhile my movements became more assured and my bicycles would ride in the direction I steered it to rather than be pulled by the chaos of physics. Hopefully it will be same way in getting back to writing blog and I won’t be steered away ever again :). Today I will be talking about Twitter and how it’s both a great tool for ADHD and a bad one.
The chart on the left despite being tongue cheek is a surprisingly accurate assessment on Social Media and Behavioral disorders especially on Stalking. I think that’s why I never used Myspace because I can’t stalk people on it :P.
Social media has exploded in a big way over the last ten years. In the late 90’s, the ideal internet platform for discussions and meeting people were Forums which were moderated by a Web administrator and their entourage. For a ADHDER forums were great because you can write all the thoughts and feelings on various subjects bottled in your head which you couldn’t do in reality. Still you needed to articulate your thoughts and so a ADHDER had to rein in your Hyperactivity and Impulsivity in order to not write anything inappropriate that would lead to getting banned from the forums.
Social media started to move in way that would give more control to the individual. MySpace and Facebook gave individual the right to create his own social circle online as well give voice to his ideas and thoughts to only a select group of people. These Social media sites functioned like a person on a stage reading his or her diary out to a crowd of their family, friends and peers. Yet Facebook and Myspace I would argue are bad as ADHD tools. The reason is they try too much to emulate social interactions of real life which a ADHDER is certainly not looking for. Twitter on the other hand couldn’t be more different.
Picture Instant Messaging and forums having a baby and that’s Twitter in a nutshell. Twitter has game like rules governing its usage. The first is that a post has a word limit meaning one has to find way to give their thoughts and feeling in succinct manner and two the skill in writing these posts earn points in the form of the number of other users following. The more followers you get, the more you are winning this game and some people take this to an extreme :P. The thing about Twitter is that it is perfect for ADHD because it relies on giving quick replies so it fits impulsivity as well as favorable towards unique and interesting Tweets which an ADHER can give in spades.
So what is the downside to Twitter. Well it’s the latest procrastinating bug to hit us ADHERS. We finally have an outlet for all the colliding thoughts in our head and with no effort could send them out like lighting bolts to the whole wide world but this stimulation and easy fix for creativity leads ADHDERS to neglect their work. I mean its get to the point where one would actually Tweet while having a conversation with their friends. So I would say Twitter is an excellent tool for ADHD but a ADHDER should be cautious as it can waste so much of your time like no other Social Media.