A panel of top experts in the field of psychology is currently assembling the fifth edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which will be known to medical professionals and crime fiction writers with a taste for the macabre as the DSM-V.
In the spirit of science, we offer the following five personality disorders encountered in the real time web, known colloquially as Twitter. Examine these closely to discover if you are among the afflicted.
Symptoms: Serialized use of hashtags to beat a joke, usually pun-based, to death.
While contributing one or two tweets to the latest #fourwordsaftersex or #drunkmovietitles meme is socially acceptable, a dozen plus entries in a self-generated “meme” like #thingsonlyIwouldsay issued in a two minute window is a sure sign of HashTourettes.
Treatment: Sufferers of #HT seek social approval. Withholding said approval is usually enough to curb the behavior.
Blog Anxiety Stutter Syndrome (BASS)
A series of posts illustrating
(7 minutes ago by web)
one coherent idea that doesn’t quite fit into
(8 minutes ago by web)
the format of Twitter. These “bloggers manqués” would be better
(10 minutes ago by web)
served by just biting the bullet and opening up a Wordpress,
(15 minutes ago by web)
if only it didn’t take so long to sign up for one.
(17 minutes ago by web)
Sufferers of BASS are likely classic narcissists with exceptionally low self-esteem, possibly stemming from childhood social trauma on the schoolyard. Convinced that no one would ever want to listen to them for more than 30 seconds, users with BASS become trapped in a downward spiral of negative reinforcement once their followers begin dropping them en masse because they won’t shut up.
Treatment: BASS sufferers respond well to group intervention tactics. A large group is recommended, as their narcissism demands an audience.
Cyborg Associative Disorder (CAD)
Symptoms: Spontaneously issued updates lacking in all human warmth and emotion, often fixated on the ratings of YouTube videos or the number of miles run in the past 30 minutes.
Symptoms: Those afflicted with CAD-- and its acute form, FourSquarnoia-- are prone to experiencing sudden loss of agency. Their update streams fill with glossolalia-like messages that hew to strict grammatical structures (e.g. "I favorited a YouTube video – Ang Lee’s Dancing Baby/Sneezing Panda”). Many sufferers of CAD are unaware that they have a problem, or believe that this is the very form of interaction for which Twitter was devised. This delusional belief is exploited by predatory marketers.
Treatment: Sarcastic @reply messages that treat the auto-generated updates as if they were real posts are currently being explored as a radical therapy experiment.
Symptoms: Relentless links to one’s own content with little in the way of breaks, excessive use of exclamation points, and profiles with “Social Media Rockstar” in the “about” line.
Egomarketitis has two distinct sub-disorders. Type One includes those who are blissfully unaware of their condition. These are often adherents of “The Secret.” Full-blown Egomarketitis is displayed by the self-styled social media gurus who offer 1001 ways to increase your follower count by thousands in just three easy steps.
Treatment: Type One cases can be treated with regular psychotherapy sessions. For full blown Egomarketitis, the only known solution is the “Block” button. Use it wisely.
Symptoms: The posting of seemingly innocuous links that lead to the most horrific images ever devised by the so-called “Internet Hate Machine” known by its given name of 4Chan [link redacted].
Chanophrenia is a progressive sociopathic disorder, typified by increased disassociation from societal norms and the sexualization of everything. No really, everything. Moreover, Chanophrenia is an aggressive social disease, a group mind-- collectively and individually known as Anonymous-- that seeks to infect entire social circles.
The emerging study of Chanology study attracts only the most daring mental health professionals, whose sad fate is to have their souls twisted beyond all recognition by their investigations. Because of this, we cannot offer much insight into the psychology of those afflicted with Chanophrenia, as the disease is categorized as a Class Five full roaming memetic virus. To understand Chanophrenia is to become Chanophrenic.
Treatment: There are things that cannot be unseen. No effective treatment is known.