Jaipur, March 21, 2022.

People on Twitter connect over shared interests and experiences, even discover new curiosities and hobbies together. Often through conversations they end up forming meaningful connections that translate into heart-warming tales of companionship of friends, life partners, business associates, among others. Time and again, people come across those who proudly proclaim, ‘#WeMetOnTwitter’.

People may have been physically distant during COVID-19 but they became closer on Twitter, finding solace in conversations and hope in others’ kindness. Rather than dealing with mental health challenges alone, many people felt comfortable talking about it, seeking help and sharing their experiences with others on the service.

Amidst these conversations, Ayush and Monish found each other and forged a special bond, the former shares:

I’ve always been a social butterfly so when the world came to a halt, I found it very difficult to cope. At the same time I started identifying as bisexual, and when I came out to my family, they just brushed it off. That’s when I started struggling with issues of  my deteriorating mental health.

So, I decided to seek therapy. My therapist asked me to be more vocal about my feelings and even encouraged me to start talking to my loved ones. But since expressing emotions didn’t come easily to me, she suggested I get on Twitter and use the platform to get things off my chest. It seemed like a good idea and so the very next day, I made an account and started following people with similar interests as mine.

My experience was very positive and I found people welcoming. Twitter was a platform where I could fully express my opinions and talk about my sexuality openly. The replies made me feel accepted; the acceptance I awaited from my parents, I got it here… on Twitter! It took a while but slowly my mental health started improving.

And then, around May this year, I joined a DM group on Twitter with people from all around the country. The group was a safe space for people to discuss all kinds of things. One day, I mustered up the courage and spoke about my mental health struggles in the group. That’s when a boy, Monish, replied saying ‘I can relate to you.’ After the session, Monish DM’d me saying, ‘Do you mind talking to me?’ I knew the loneliness depression brings with it… and since I was also a work-in-progress, I agreed. We exchanged numbers and got on a call; the conversation lasted for almost 2 hours!

He confided in me, and told me how he was experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. He struggled with self-esteem issues and had nobody to talk to. So I told him, ‘Whenever it gets too much, talk to me!’ Soon, we started talking daily and he became my safe place too. In fact, he even drove over 200 kms to surprise me on my birthday! And not for a moment did it feel like we were meeting for the first time. We spent the entire day eating local food and just talking.

In just a few months, Monish has become very important to me. The two of us have helped each other heal. I used to be someone who kept all his feelings bottled up, but today, I’ve become very comfortable with my emotions. And I know, meeting Monish had a lot to do with it.