ND Community on Social Media Figuring Things Out for Themselves
Whereas social media sites started out as a place that lured and ridiculed the neurodiverse, they have evolved into being just about what anyone wants them to be. The ability to sculpt your feed so that the majority of content that shows up is created by people who you resonate with has been a boon for a population who has longed to feel connected and be understood. Also, the ability to screenshot and block those who are abusive has created some sense of control.
and research like TikTok and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Cross-Sectional Study of Social Media Content Quality. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry have started weighing in on the movement. While both are skeptical of content, neither condemn it.
Much of the difficulty with being neurodiverse in the past was that in order to connect with others, you had to navigate the social waters in order to find someone who was like-minded. More often than not, that endeavor only enhanced the conviction that socializing was not worth the often painful outcomes. Social media allows you to get a sense of what someone is about before engaging. One of the things I love most about the neurodiverse community is that they are 'no bullshit'. If they take offense to something you share, they will say their piece and move on. In the majority of content I've seen, people may vehemently disagree with each other but the tendency for the exchanges to devolve into 'hater messaging' is missing.
So Elon Musk bought Twitter. Elon Musk identifies as having Asperger's. I say identifies because it is no longer a DSM diagnosis but many find it to be the most accurately descriptive label for their way of being. The topic of how one identifies in terms of neurodiversity is a hotly debated on social media right now and I have learned a lot. Twitter is probably the most scientific and least typically social of social media so it is not surprising that he had designs on the neurodiverse-friendliest platform out there.
I believe that the benefits of social media far outweigh the risks for the neurodiverse community. The beauty of it is that if someone is heading down a destructive, dangerous online path, loved ones are able to find compelling, productive and stimulating alternative paths to steer them towards without having to say "You can't hang out with Johnny anymore" and taking their only friend away. While it is said that 'bad company is better than no company', social media allows everyone to find a healthy niche where they fit.