Why I Decided To Use Social Media This Year To Change How We Think About Mental Illness

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April 6, 2015 - Universe

by Loretta Johnstone, Pasadena 

This year, I made a pledge to use social media for society’s good. Instead of sharing cat videos and silly jokes, I decided to tweet and write Facebook posts about mental illness. This is an issue close to my heart; my great-grandfather, grandfather and father all suffer from De Gaull Disease, which causes delusions of grandiosity and periods of extreme narcissism.

As a person with over 12,200 twitter followers and 1,950 Facebook friends, I knew that I had intense, God-like power in social media to influence how people think. I knew that, once I began to tweet, my paeans would fall into line and become submissive devotees who worshipped better services for sufferers of mental illness with more love than a thousand mothers.

But, in truth, they were not my paeans! They were paeans to my ideas! And, should they like or share or retweet, it was because they knew that I and only I, The One True Messenger Of Progressive Mental Health, could deliver unto earth the correct and true notions of more accessible care.

SHARE MY POSTS, YOU SLAVES. LIKE!!! SHARE!!! RETWEET!!!! JESUS CHRIST IS A FRAUD AND I HAVE RISEN!!! MEDICAID MUST COVER ALL MENTAL ILLNESS!!!

For my project, I could allow no dissenters. Those who did not like or share would be unfriended. Those who disagreed with me publicly would be argued with until their posts were deleted and they retreated. Disgraced nothings. Ragged claws scuttling beneath the silent sea floor.

LIKE AND SHARE!!! FOR THIS IS YOUR ONE CHANCE TO KNOW THE TRUTH!!! GOD IS LOVE!!! MENTAL ILLNESS IS BEING CRIMINALIZED RATHER THAN TREATED AS AN ISSUE OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE HEALTH!!!

In conclusion, people are often cynical about the power of social media. But I feel that my year-long project was more than slacktivism; I really did manage to change people’s minds.

And that’s more satisfying than any cat video.

Jet fuel can’t melt steel beams.