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Using Twitter To Combat Depression

by Dom Passatino
12 April 2011, 8:48am

As with anything too vast to grasp, what fascinates me about Twitter is the stuff that nobody talks about. I can’t bring myself to get excited about Libyans or Iranians throwing off the yoke of oppression due to a particularly well-crafted hashtag. I can get excited about tragically lonely women retweeting Kardashian family clone #227 noting that “there is good in every goodby” [SIC!!].

And who knows – maybe they are useful for more than my own, cruel amusement. Imagine that you had depression. Not a mild, 'set up a Spotify playlist consisting of nothing but different versions of "Adam’s Song”' depression, but the full-blown, 'turning your arms into crazy paving with a Stanley knife' depression. How would you go about coping with that? Drink? Doxepin? Therapy? Why not just boot up Twitter and follow one of these guys. It's free, after all, even though most of the time you can never really be sure who's tending the banality at the end of the tunnel.

@RevRunWisdom

He's the alpha and omega of this game. No one represents this 'Kitten holding onto a tree branch poster for the 21st century' bullshit better than the man who used to be one of The Kings of Rock. Forget all about Run-D.M.C. – nowadays all Joseph 'Reverend Run' Simmons wants to talk about is the time his kid was on My Super Sweet 16, lots of stuff about God, how great being in a black nuclear family is, and then some more God.

Weirdly, despite all his chunder about the role the Big Man upstairs has to play in your life, he’s never once tweeted: “Do I ever wonder where God was when my good friend and former bandmate was shot dead in cold blood, allegedly over a cocaine deal gone wrong? No, not really.” Probably because that’s 157 characters.

Typical tweets: “I know u want it all 2 happen now.. Don't let ur hearts desire become a heart disease #Godspeed”; “There is a friend who will never let you down or leave you,, that friend is Jesus”; “Sum1 asked me 2 stop talkin bout God on twitter,, that's like askin the pizza shop to stop sellin pizza #nothappening!”

Will provide cheer to: Those who like religion and rap, but not that Matisyahu-type religion, and not that matters post-Yahoo-type rap.

TheNoteboook

The official Twitter feed for that movie where Joseph Gordon-Levitt falls in love with Julia Roberts’ call girl character and they use a potter’s wheel together while The Shins play. Or maybe that’s Beaches. Nah, not really: look, there’s an extra “o” in the title. The overall feel is reminiscent of those tiny, matchbook-sized books you used to get on the counter at Clinton Cards called something like “REASONS FOR BEING BEST FRIENDS” or “100 WAYS TO SAY THANKS”, lots of stuff about true love and waiting for your real man and how unreal men are bad.

They then go on to whore out products they’re paid to plug, so in the middle of “a real man will always love you when your entire family dies”-style meanderings there’s a bunch of “HOT NEW IPHONE HAXXX CHECK EM OUT!!!!!!!!!” plugs. It’s the equivalent of having a girly night in interrupted by the Cilit Bang guy wanking through your letterbox.

Typical tweets: “Behind every beautiful girl, there's a guy who did her wrong and made her strong”; “Dance like the photo isn't being tagged, love like you've never been unfriended, & tweet like nobody is following ♥”

Will provide cheer to: Schoolgirls undergoing growth spurts.

ThaRealCedric

There’s a modern-day hustle that can be easily broken down as follows: set up a Twitter account in the name of a famous comedian, tweet some random crap jokes, wait for idiots to follow you under the illusion that you're the real comedian, and then sell sponsored Tweets for idk a pop. See @davechappelle and @kattwilliams for the tragic evidence.

But at least there’s something that vaguely passes as “comedy” there. The guy who runs the fake Cedric the Entertainer account on the other hand… I’m not sure. Instead of raiding YouTube for crap gags the fat man in the hat told Eddie 'one day I'll make a film where I marry myself' Murphy in Dr. Dolittle 2, there's just lots of stuff like "People who appear to be perfect are the ones with the most problems" and "When you win a lie you lose trust".

Typical tweets: “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.”; “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Will provide cheer to: I don't really get it. I guess the whole thing feels like a Turing Experiment in creating the perfect Twitter page for a 15-year-old whose main problem in life is an ever-increasing number of 'haters'.

iRespectFemales

In reality, @iRespectFemales is a 20-year-old deaf poet from Birmingham, Alabama called Greg F, but he's carved out a pretty significant role for himself online as a male so beat he makes Drake look like Chopper Read.

Greg F. is like the concept of the friendzone given tangible form, nothing but whipped “you are a strong independent beautiful woman, every man would be happy to find you, there’s plenty more fish in the sea, it’s always darkest before dawn” tropes 24/7. Which makes it really fucking confusing when he starts asking his fans if they’re excited for the new Chris Brown album. Because I’m pretty sure there was some bother with Chris Brown a couple of years ago… I forget exactly what happened.

Typical tweets: “I’d rather #WalkAlone than chase u around. I’d rather #FallByMyself than let u drag me down.”, “GUYS: if she has MAJOR trust issues...just bare with her...be patient. she'll come around when she's ready.”

Will provide cheer to: Lonely women, timid men, lesbians and militant feminists.

@alaindebotton

Face it, he’s @RevRunWisdom for white people, and if you honestly find anything he has to say either on Twitter or in his books to be insightful or thought-provoking, you should probably get back to studying for your SATs. Hilariously has a history of LiveJournal-style melodrama and locking his account down/deleting tweets when people call him out on his bullshit.

Typical tweets: “Both happiness and misery render us incapable of properly remembering what it was like to experience their converse.”; “The inner pages of the Financial Times: an organisation of 14,000 people, all their joys and sorrows, ends up as + 2.3.”; “It's not that most friends drop us when they reach fame and fortune. We have to drop them to avoid the hellfires of envy.”

Will provide cheer to: People from Brighton.


DOM PASSANTINO