Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Problem with Twitter

Twitter involves such an unbelievably high level of stimulation. I used to find it easier than Facebook - but now I have so many people I'm 'following' on twitter that it's becoming just as difficult. As someone on the autistic spectrum, I experience twitter like an INCREDIBLY loud room, full of hundreds of people, all talking about different things, all coming in and out of different conversations and drawing others into and out of them. It's worse than the world's biggest party. The stimulation and churning up of emotion involved with all of that is really quite difficult for me.

I've been working hard on managing my emotions for the last few weeks. I won't go into the details of why, but I find emotions one of the biggest blocks to my experience of spirituality. They can be far more disabling for me than my chronic pain or my easily-dislocating joints. I've been trying to learn how to work with my emotions for the past ten years or more, slowly adding to my management techniques, from meditation to grounding, and using antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication when necessary. It's still REALLY hard. The past few weeks have been difficult, and twitter hasn't been helping. When something goes 'wrong' on twitter, it's a bit like, in the midst of the very loud party, someone has stopped in the middle of all the flow of conversations, and started shouting something like BUT WHY DO YOU HAVE THAT OPINION? while the room around falls silent. And while sometimes I can laugh and shake it off and/or reply, sometimes I'm just faced with the fact that there are some verrrry ignorant/difficult/unfriendly people in the world. And some who are great but just don't like me. And I wish I was someone who could deal with that better, and to some extent I can in the 'real world' - but not in the middle of the world's biggest party!

Celtic Paganism talks about the three realms of earth, sea and sky, the wisdom of the concept of three, and of walking a middle path. Now, in most ways, I know I wasn't called to a middle path. The path of the activist - the warrior - is not exactly one of compromise! But being able to find what T. Thorn Coyle calls the "still centre" within myself is something I want to strive for. That means being aware of the things that draw me away from that. So when I feel under pressure, when I'm having a day when I'm feeling particularly out of balance, maybe not going to the world's biggest party is a sensible idea.

And now I'm off to meditate.

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