Springingtiger's Blog

Autism Awareness: How to Converse with an Aspie on Twitter
April 11, 2012, 22:25
Filed under: asperger's syndrome, autism, disability, social media

Nowadays some Twitter agents include the conversation preceding a tweet, I like to think the programmers might have read this blog, but I doubt it.Although it may now be possible to follow a conversation I think this blog from early last year is still relevant.

Many people happily post tweets along the lines of “@whoeveryouare Big thanks” just that, no #hashtags and no details. Many people read those tweets and understand them in their entirety. I have problems, on the other hand. I find it difficult to follow through a thread because tweets are disconnected. In the days of newsgroups each posting contained all the previous posts on the thread so it was immediately obvious to what each post referred. I find it impossible to follow the live conversations on @thecoffeeklatch Twitter forum, fortunately it is possible to read them through later although not to participate.

If you are conversing with an Aspie – well with me, anyway – it would be really useful if you were to include some reference to the subject. One hundred and forty characters may not allow much of a reference, but even a #hashtag can give an indication of the subject.

People are often warned that Aspies are very literal which is true. However I think most adult Aspies have learned a stock of idioms – I have – and understand metaphor. Sarcasm is harder to appreciate particularly in writing so if someone writes, “So glad to be at work dealing with idiot customers!” I tend to assume they mean what they write, I just assume they derive pleasure rather perversely. I suppose the best advice is, Where there is a possibility of misinterpretation go literal.

Facts are good and so are links to factual articles. Airy faerie content will probably be ignored, we like our content to be logical and preferably empirically demonstrable. We like learning useful things, celebrity gossip is not useful.

I realise in all the above comments I am talking about myself, I tend to assume that what is true of me is true of everyone. Perhaps I should re-title the piece, “How to Converse with Springingtiger on Twitter – or anywhere else for that matter.”

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