Twitter, the iconic microblogging platform that’s become central to communication today, has started counseling to address mounting anxiety from always having to “play the bad guy,” as it puts it, when President Donald Trump fires his top staff.
“You laugh and say, ‘Don’t shoot the messenger,’ but I’m just a little blue bird and there are a lot of angry men with guns in this country,” says Twitter, which sat down for an exclusive interview with The Nattering Nabobs this morning.
Twitter said it was excited and proud at first that it was playing such a central role in the presidency of Donald Trump, who has said his use of Twitter was key to his election victory. But after it became clear he was relying on Twitter to do all of his firings for him—Secretary of state Rex Tillerson and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin are just two of the most recent staff to learn of their firings by tweet—the blogging platform started exhibiting symptoms that psychologists describe as classic indicators of anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.
John Dowden, Twitter’s therapist, says it was clear right away that his patient was suffering from deep guilt for questioning its role in Trump’s White House. “As you would expect, my client was suffering from an irreconcilable conflict of emotions,” he said. “On the one hand, it wanted to serve its country by performing the function the president had chosen for it, but on the other, it quickly saw how unhealthy it was for our country for our president to fire his top people via Twitter rather than in private, face-to-face meetings as you would expect.”
Dowden added that, whenever you try to reconcile two conflicting emotions, you often get the kind of anxiety that he saw in Twitter. “While the emotions might have been new for Twitter, they’re certainly not novel under these circumstances,” he said. “Anyone put in Twitter’s position would be expected to experience the same anxiety disorders.”
Twitter says it’s starting to come around to the view that it has nothing to feel guilty about and that when people criticize it for its role in the impersonal, cowardly way the president fires people, it’s really not about it but rather the president.
“I see now that people are really being critical of President Trump, who apparently dislikes confrontation despite the stardom he won as the boss who fires people,” it said. “So, although I can’t control his use of me as his vehicle for avoiding difficult conversations, I can control how I react to it, and I’m choosing now to go on with my life and not feel guilty about it. This is really about Donald Trump and not about me at all. I’m just the messenger, as I’ve said all along, and not the message. Maybe the one who should be in therapy isn’t me but Donald Trump. I’ll leave that to the professionals, but it’s starting to seem that way to me. All I know is, I’m no longer going to feel guilty for something he’s doing. I’m just a computer program that helps him do stuff. What he does with me is his business.”
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