Social media is one of the easiest and most popular modes of connection, communication and self-expression in today’s world. It allows individuals to connect with people from all over the world. Through various social networks, celebrities are somewhat accessible now, and businesses use it to promote their services, products and causes. It opens up a door of possibilities and seemingly endless advantages. It is now used by most everyone, young and old.
However, as with anything else, it does have a dark side.
For individuals in recovery, social media can become another way to avoid, escape or distract oneself from reality. It can even become an obsession or what some have called “social media addiction.” The latter is a growing concern, while online gambling, pornography, gaming and virtual reality applications have been considered process addictions for some time already.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Immediate and unrestricted access to everyone via social networking is not always such a good thing for recovery newbies who are trying to steer clear of those associated with their previous life in active addiction. Substance abusers, drug dealers, old drinking or drugging buddies, ex-significant others and so on are typically easily located through social media. Moreover, the ability to create false identities and maintain numerous online personalities shuts down any guarantee of public accountability.
However, unlike the exaggerated claims of peer-pressure clichés often used with drugs and alcohol, generally speaking, everyone really is doing social media. And, for the record, that includes other recovering addicts, a truth that can mean 24-hour access to recovery support, encouragement and community.
Of course, we all know that moderation is key. Yet, for those who are prone to addictive behaviors, that is no easy task. Now this doesn’t mean that one must be completely abstinent from social media moving forward. But, for the sake of successful recovery, it is at least important to set up somewhat strict personal boundaries regarding online privacy and connect with those who allow for and can provide good accountability in your continued journey sobriety.