The Online Autism Community and Stress

First, I’d like to give a warm, heartfelt thanks to the 300+ followers I have on Twitter. I’m honored that you’re following me and my posts. I do my best to bring well researched information along with my personal observations. I do my best never to “speak for” any other person. I’ll present topical research and generalized techniques, but every person is unique. Every person has their own specific path which may vary from what is best for other people.

So with that being said, I wanted to discuss some of my thoughts on the Twitter Autism community and my own stress levels. I can’t of course speak for anyone else :).

I love seeing the uplifting news. Autistics connecting with pets. Autistics finding their artistic talents. Autistics getting that sense that they really belong. That they are loved for who they are right now.

I love hearing about stores, businesses, sports venues, restaurants, and other places which go out of their way to help everyone feel welcome and accepted.

I also appreciate hearing from people who are struggling and need help. We’ve all faced challenges. It’s the strength of our community which helps us find solutions. As someone who grew up in the 1970s, before the World Wide Web, it’s a stunning miracle how people can communicate nowadays. It provides a network that was completely unfathomable back then.

What I struggle with is the anger directed at other Twitter people – often complete strangers.

My view is that life is already very short. We are barely on Earth for the blink of an eye before we’re gone. Every day is precious. Our energy is limited. Those grains of sand are already slipping through our hourglass at a stunning rate. To invest that time and energy on harming another person just baffles me. And, I admit, it makes me anxious.

And given the enormous list of items on my to-do list, it means that important other things I need to do might not get done, because my energy levels are impacted.

On the other hand, I don’t want to block or mute people who are hostile, because my overarching point of view is that every single person matters. Maybe a person who is angry and volatile is suffering from so much pain that this is the only way to let it out. Maybe if we can somehow reach them, we can help them ease that pain. That would be good for them and for the world.

Let me say that I love when people are passionate. I love when people care. There is a way to do that without actively seeking to hurt people. Those are two different things. People can disagree on a topic without one person seeking to damage and harm the other.

So that’s my topic to meditate on for the week. How do I find a way to better participate in the community while managing my reactions to the few but vocal people who actively post things designed to cause emotional harm to others.

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