“Social media has improved my life so much. I cannot even describe it.”
Autism spectrum disorder remains one of the most misunderstood and often misrepresented developmental conditions. Many methods to help people on the autism spectrum have emerged over the years and, in his latest video, IndieAndy talks about how social media can be a useful aid for all those in the autism community.
Incorporating responses from his audience throughout the video to strengthen his points, Andy starts off with a broad subject: communication. He mentions his own struggles with real-life communication, saying that it’s “hard to process sometimes”. However, Andy and several others have found that social media eases the anxiety of face-to-face communication, allowing them to chat to others freely from their own room and avoid the stress of accidentally misinterpreting something when speaking face to face. Receiving messages online gives him the opportunity to fully digest someone’s thoughts and the time to form an appropriate response. “You’re taking the anxiety part of it away,” he explains.
Andy then approaches the topic of online friendships, stating that making friends through social media is way easier than in the outside world. “It’s very easy to make connections with people who have similar interests to you”, he mentions. “And, if you’re on the autism spectrum and you have an obsession or interest in something, it’s very easy to find a community who has that very same interest.” Finding these communities has been key for Andy, who finds that it’s made it much easier to open up to new online friends.
His next point touches on isolation. Andy opens up about his own struggles in school, saying that although he was surrounded by people who were facing similar struggles to his own, he felt like he couldn’t relate. It wasn’t until he joined Facebook that it became better. He mentions how good it felt to have the ability to talk to someone who “just gets it” and being able to help them in return, all through social media.
Andy wraps up by speaking about his own experience as an autistic creator, saying that interacting with other content creators helps strengthen his communication, friendships, and helps combat his feelings of isolation as well. He also mentions that seeing comments on videos and hearing other people’s opinions helped him understand their perspectives. “Through making videos, I’ve become exposed to a lot more opinions and views on things and that’s actually improved the way I view the world.”