As many of you will know, discovering the Twitter Mental Health community has been really important to me for a variety of reasons.

However, there are both pros and cons to it.

Pros

Support

When you’re feeling low, there is always someone around to offer support, whether you need to talk about your problems, or if you just want to chat about something random to take your mind off it.

Encouragement

One thing you will always find in the MH community is encouragement. Whatever your hopes and dreams, whatever your goals are for the year, month, or even just your day, there is an unending supply of encouragement from the members. They let you know that they believe in you and give you that boost to achieve your goals.

Belonging

The MH community are fiercely loyal and there is a real sense of belonging. There are people from all walks of life and you don’t have to change who you are in order to “fit in”.

Expression

As I said before, you don’t have to change yourself to fit in with the MH community, and this is very liberating when it comes to self-expression. You don’t have to filter your thoughts and it’s a chance to be really honest and open about what you’re feeling and thinking.

Validation

Validation is so important to our mental health (when I say our, I mean literally everyone, everyone needs validation), and you can find this in the MH community on Twitter. It’s pretty much guaranteed that whatever you say, you will find at least one other person who thinks or has thought the same, and if not, you will definitely find someone who can empathise. Having our feelings validated can be so beneficial in helping us deal with our emotions. Knowing that we’re understood and heard is so important.

Helping others

Engaging with the MH community on Twitter is not only useful for us, but it also gives us the opportunity to give back and help others. We can be that listening ear that someone needs, or that confidence boost, or validating support. This not only helps that person but is also great for our own feelings of self-worth and value.

Friendship and fun

Aside from being a useful tool, the Twitter MH community is also a place to make real friendships and have a few laughs along the way. There are so many wonderfully friendly people with whom you can chat and joke – a great way to socialise and combat feelings of isolation.

twitter the patchwork fox

Cons

Triggers

Although many people are good at putting trigger warnings on potentially triggering tweets, not everyone is, so there is always the risk of seeing something that could be triggering to you, particularly because a lot of the conversation is about mental health and mental illness.

Trolls

Unfortunately, sometimes trolls find their way into the MH community on Twitter, and they spend their time mocking or antagonising vulnerable people online. This isn’t just a Twitter problem, but there are a significant number of trolls that seem to target the MH community.

Vulnerability

Opening yourself up online is always a risk and it can make you feel very vulnerable. Your words are subject to criticism and this criticism can be damaging to someone who is feeling vulnerable.

Frustration

When you make a good friend in the Twitter MH community, you may find that they live on the other side of the world. This can be quite frustrating as it is unlikely that you will be able to meet up regularly, if at all.

 

To summarise…

I personally think that it is important to consider all of the pros and cons before engaging with the Twitter MH community, but as I’ve said before, overall I find it an excellent resource. I’ve made some really great friends in the community, and even if I have encountered trolling, I’ve had people who have had my back and supported me through it.

What are your thoughts on the Twitter MH community? Do you take part? What has your experience been? Let me know in the comments.

 

Pros and Cons of the Twitter Mental Health Community the patchwork fox

 

Advertisements

Written by hazel

mental health blogger and advocate

5 comments

  1. Definitely agree with all of your points! I’d encourage anyone who’s feeling particularly vulnerable to maybe set their account to private as it can help reduce the amount of trolls and criticism you’re open to.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post. I love being a part of the Twitter MH community and it has become a helpful part of my recovery. I agree with all your pros and cons. In addition to the list of cons I ocassionally feel a bit upset by some Tweets. Not triggering ones but sometimes someone says something that winds me up. I’m very sensitive though and have the same problem offline too! I always try to be understanding and focus on what I enjoy and overall I really find using Twitter a good experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have had a tough time on twitter initially as many things triggered me. You have to find a balance in sorting out what’s best for your mental health. But benifits are far greater. It’s a tragedy though I can’t meet my twitter friends in real life. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s