Is Twitter Like Online Therapy for Teens?

Twitter can be noisy. Silly. Crude. Mundane. Commercial. Self-promoting. Therapeutic. Wait, what was that last one?

I won’t lie, the reason I got into Twitter had to do with the second-last descriptor. When I set my sights on publishing a novel for teen girls, I thought I should get to know my audience better. I had to build my ‘author platform’ and become capable of navigating the social media world. Although in the beginning I felt slightly creepy about doing it, I began to follow young adults, and as general Twitter courtesy dictates, many followed me back.

Most of what I’ve seen is light, or funny, or intended to get attention. But the surprising part of this Twitter experience for me has been that more often than you’d think, sandwiched between tweets like:

“Don’t ever try to drink nutella it doesn’t work”

Or

“Drop my phone on my face way too often”

I find tweets like these (legit, random, and from distinct people):

“You could have just said you hated me instead of having me figure it out on my own.”

“You’re ashamed of me”

I’m not sure why I’m shocked when I see them. I guess I come from a family and generation that doesn’t share so openly. At first I found myself wondering what good it would do to share sensitive thoughts with hundreds or even thousands of strangers.

“All I ever wanted to do was make you proud”

“I hate crying myself to sleep, it’s the worst. I just wanna be happy ☹”

Do they realize that these tweets won’t go away? That they might read them later and remember? Relive?

“I know I said I would quit but I was upset and really needed a few hits.”

“I don’t think me and mums relationship will survive this operation”

“Dad most people say hi when I walk through the door but thanks for that”

“I hate everything about myself”

Some get reactions and replies. Validation. Support.

“I wish I can go a day without worrying about how fat I feel or how ugly I think I am.”
5 retweets (followers who have passed the tweet to their own followers’ timelines, likely in agreement)
Response: “That makes two of us”
Response: “1 you’re not fat, 2 you’re beautiful & 3 I love you the way that u are!”

“Hate people who let you down”
7 retweets, 1 favorite (star of approval)
Response: “What’s up mate”

Read more on The Huffington Post

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