Ways to make online platforms a source of positivity
Whether it’s checking-in on friends and family, watching a new video from your favorite artist, or googling over scenic photos of your dream vacation spot, social media is an enthralling network of constant communication and entertainment.
One survey suggests adults spend an average of 1.72 hours daily on social media sites.
With so much time spent online, and more news pointing to the possible negative effects of the networks on overall health, it can seem like the only option is to abandon them altogether.
Especially when you are focused on making the difficult but transformative changes in addiction recovery, the last thing you need is something that fuels negative energy.
But, there are ways to find a happy medium, where you can enjoy the positive side of your favorite social media while staying mindful to keep usage balanced.
Start with these three tips and explore how you can best use these tools for your gain and growth!
Cultivate and curate a motivational newsfeed
Part of the joy that comes from social media is access to new ideas and resources. With the swath of content published every day, you can bet there are endless options to follow and like.
Consider what types of information or discussion you find most motivating, intriguing, and empowering?
Perhaps the first step is adding pro-recovery accounts to your followed list, so as you scroll along the newest Instagram additions, you’ll see reminders and tips to stay on track.
Other additions may be focused on tapping into old hobbies or new interests.
Some find that social media provides an outlet by which to find meetings, groups, and activities that are supportive of their addiction recovery.
The most important thing is that the people and pages you interact with are all and all adding to your life, having a positive impact.
If there are sources and content you find challenging to see, consider hiding or blocking the originating pages or topics. It’s a protective move, much like the choice to stop hanging out at old haunts.
Clean-up your profiles
While information does truly live somewhere on the internet forever – all the more reason to be mindful of what you post – there is still good reason to do a sweep of your pages and take down inappropriate or unflattering content.
While the midst of addiction and other maladaptive behaviors, you might be inhibited and post pictures or statuses that no longer reflect the person you want to be.
If you are concerned this might be emotional or triggering for you, consider asking to take a look during a therapy session or sit down with a supportive friend to make the changes.
More so, doing a sweep of your online reputation and presence is essential as you jump back into the workforce. Job recruiters reported negative reactions to references to illegal drugs (83%) and alcohol (44%) on potential employee’s social media pages.
While a joke about substance use or the past weekend antics might have seemed funny at the time, it’s not going to get a laugh out of potential employers.
Acknowledge the growth and change you’ve made in the time since these posts and allow yourself to feel as you want as you give your profile a facelift.
Plus, it can be fun to snag a few pictures and find a new favorite to feature on your profile.
Clock-in and clock-out
Treating social media like a timeclock might seem strange, but any system that takes note of screen time works to keep you in balance and away from endless scrolling.
Additionally, browsing through yet another account or looking back at an old ex’s page might be a source of emotional avoidance or even have detrimental effects on your mood.
A report from Johns Hopkins notes that three hours or more a day on social media made 12-to-15-year-olds twice as likely to experience depression, anxiety, loneliness, aggression, and antisocial behavior.
Social media can increase comparison to others, bring up stress, and even makes you feel socially isolated.
Plus, the blue-light in electronics can cause an issue with our circadian rhythm and make sleep difficult.
Make a note to check-in with how often you go online and set a timer for how long you want to be using social media. Set boundaries of when you unplug for the night and when access starts in the morning.
Being more intentional about how you use that time is a great way to start making better use of your day and keep usage to a healthy level.
What are some other ways you can think to use social media to your advantage as you move forward in recovery? What are some changes you might make to have a healthy relationship with online networking?
Connection is said to be the opposite, a sort of anecdote, to addiction. The ability to tap into our social networks and use the internet in positive ways during recovery can bolster motivation and provide great resources. Whether you’ve recently discharged from treatment or are well along your recovery path, Steps Recovery Centers are here – on Facebook and by phone (385-250-1701) – to help, connect, and to support your journey to a fulfilled life. Follow or call us today!