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Why Twerapy Beats Therapy

psychoanalysis_magazine

Since
joining Twitter, it strikes me that it refreshes parts of our psyches
other connections fail to reach. And that the possibilities of diy
therapy through it are considerable.

We can venture into a crowd of eclectic tweeters who offer up:

a sense of perspective.
Too much time working alone? Then Twitter can stop the walls closing in.
It can remind us both of our own significance and that our goals are
similar to millions of other people’s.

escape from the tax return, the ironing and…yes!… even
our family and friends. We can hang out periodically with a gang of
folk who it would be impossible to bring together in a physical space.
And return from them with spirits revived.

identification, however odd our interest combos (where else could you bring together, say, dog psychology, technology UX and best lipsticks?)

vast and astounding generosity in what is shared and can be learnt

news, information, entertainment in every possible form – but better than all of this, the chance of a good laugh (more tweets from conference toilets, please)

Most people’s need for therapy is based on some sort of sense of
isolation and a failure to be understood. Success usually depends on the
skills of an individual therapist , or if in group therapy, the
chemistry.

On Twitter, there’s scope for wide interpretation – and you’ll get
what various approaches to therapy can give you: silent indifference on
to which to project, unconditional positive regard or solution-focussed
directives. Follow enough bossy tweeters and you will get a hell of lot
of help…

Now the virtual village pump atmosphere of Twitter doesn’t suit
everyone. Some of us like to silently loiter, listening to the
information exchange, sense-making and gossip. We may shudder at the
banal pleasantries, personal revelations and mundane location updates.
But isn’t this what we’d hear on public transport anywhere?

Freud compared analysis to a train journey and Twitter steams through the day, across the world. Jung
talked about the collective unconscious and here it may be made
manifest. We can use advanced search and hashtags to find ideas about
anything. .

But as well as village pump, Twitter operates a fascinating
Ego-O-Meter. Be vivid and helpful and engagement will follow . Be the
great ‘I am’ and ‘I do’ and – unless you are a celeb – it won’t.

It offers a chance to clarify were we locate ourselves: generally,
with many connections or with a small distinct bunch sharing interests.
Are we weak-tiers or mavens ? Who and where we follow can help inspire our futures.

Ok. So maybe I’m fixated with Twitter. It’s helped me identify
content that is stale, alienating and well past its sell by date.
Amongst the people I follow are great teachers, role models, sparks,
wide boys and cherished friends. One follow is a total and utter jerk,
but amazingly erudite and knowledgeable.

And life would be so much duller and lonelier without them.

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