The Impact Social Media has on Recovery from Addiction
When the use of something interferes with daily life or interpersonal relationships it can be regarded as an addiction. The portability of modern devices and the around-the- clock accessibility of social media sites can easily lead to an unhealthy amount of time being spent online. The process of recovery requires focus and the unlimited exposure to social media 24/7 and use of screens can play havoc with sleep patterns and cause constant daytime distractions. The instant gratification provided by modern touch-screen tech is not helpful to someone in recovery as it mirrors, in a behavioral way, substance and alcohol addiction.
Social Media Can Delay Progress in Recovery
The online community you belong to can define you as a person, whether you want it to or not. In recovery, an individual is trying to bring about change and leave behind harmful behaviors often by physically removing themselves from their usual environment and its triggers. It is therefore wise to disconnect from online associates who may be enabling your addiction so as to avoid temptation or relapse. Exposure to images and tales of others who are glamorizing the use of alcohol or substances will undermine your progress and expose you to a distorted view of substance use. You wouldn’t go and sit in a bar whilst trying to avoid alcohol so why expose yourself to online triggers?
For someone with a fragile mind or low self-confidence, constant exposure to a world where popularity and achievement are measured by the number of ‘likes’ an image or comment receives, can be damaging. People can feel they are missing out when they are exposed to a skewed view of lifestyles and behaviors.
The unregulated nature of social media can lead a person down a dark alley of misinformation and harmful exposure. There are many useful sites, forums and online chat rooms for people in recovery and their families but it is far better to seek professional help and follow a tried-and-tested recovery program with the guidance of trained therapists and counselors.
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