What has social media done to improve relationships for people with ADHD?

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Hey there, friends, Brian King here. It’s my personal opinion that social media is one of the best things to ever happen to human relationships. Hear me out here.

One of the things that I discovered, when I really got to know things like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, is it helped me realize just how much unnecessary fluff there is in human communication.

In fact, when I first started exploring what it meant to  have ADHD, dyslexia, and all of the language processing challenges that come along with that, in my case, my ability to remember everything that’s being said to me, all the different facts, so on very, very difficult for me to remember.

It’s not because I haven’t put the effort into learning all these different memory tricks. It’s because my brain simply doesn’t hold on to it. It’s a working memory problem.

The other piece of this is social nuance, things that require me to read between the lines, more abstract things, lot of it goes way over my head. For some people, they don’t catch the nuance at all. They just catch the concrete stuff.

Not to mention, there is a lot of being extemporaneous putting a lot of unnecessary detail as you tell the story.

And it’s very difficult for us to keep track of what’s the important stuff? What do you really want us to know? And a lot of us growing up are not taught to self advocate and ask for what it is that we need.

Any clarifying questions like can you repeat that again? Or Could you expand on this part, are often met with frustration? You know, people that say, “Man, you got to pay better attention”, or “You should have been listening the first time”, “I hate repeating myself”, all kinds of reasons why.

This still baffles me all the reasons why you don’t want to put the effort into being better understood.

Okay, you don’t want to clarify, you don’t want to repeat yourself. And I’m giving you the opportunity to be understood by me. And you’re fighting me on it. Does that make sense?

But on social media, it is so much easier to cut to the chase, to just show up and say, “Hey, can I ask you a question”? “Hey, I want to share this information with you.” And people don’t question it?

Not necessarily.

“Why are you sending me this article?” or “Hey, how was your day Tommy, how the kids are, let’s catch up.” A lot of that doesn’t happen on social media. Sometimes it does.

But for folks like myself who really need it short and sweet. It’s much easier for us to simply cut to the chase. Ask for what you need, deliver the information you want. And move on the same for texting, email.

It hasn’t depersonalized communication, I’ll tell you why.

Because there are people that I will go meet at a noisy coffee shop. I try to avoid the peak hours. But there are people that I will deal with that melee for just to be in their presence. Or I will fire up the webcam even when I’m tired.

I know at the end of the conversation with this person, I will be energized. So it’s not that I’m completely shunning relationships, I am prioritizing them more highly, in that I can have more people in my life. But I don’t have to have them at the same intensity as if it were in person.

There are certain people that I can take their personal energy, I can take it on web chat, I can take it in person. But there are some people that they’re wonderful. They have a wonderful influence on my life. But man are they way too intense, or they are so laid back. I start to doze off talking to them, not because they’re boring, but because my nervous system needs a greater level of intensity to wake up.

I know who those people are. And all the different points in between relationships are on a spectrum as well, just as ADHD, or Asperger’s or any other challenges on a spectrum.

Buffers, like Facebook, texting. Those are essential to helping us protect our energy, protect our bandwidth. Just find the balance of what it is we need in order to be effective in relationships.

I’ll tell you, if I had to interact face to face with everybody in my life that I need to interact with, I wouldn’t make it very far. You know, it’s like signing up for a marathon and then sprinting out of the gate and wondering why you got exhausted after the first hundred yards.

You need to be able to buffer to protect your energy to protect your bandwidth. And social media, texting technology gives us that. And I can’t reiterate enough.

I highly suspect it’s the people like me a lot of them a lot smarter than me, who invented this technology as a way for them to be able to have human connection and contact without absolutely exhausting themselves. But that’s just my opinion on it.

So use digital communication liberally use it the way you need it in order to be able to meet your social needs, your meet your career goals, your personal goals in a way that’s not going to so exhaust you that relationships become a source of pain. 

So that’s my two cents. Hopefully this has been useful for you. If so, please share it with somebody who really needs to hear this message. Until we talk again soon. This has been Brian Thanks for being you.

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