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Tips for Healthy Social Media Use in Recovery

Healthy Social Media Use in Recovery

Screen time limits aren’t just for children. Setting limits for yourself is a simple way to keep your social media use from spiraling out of control. This might mean checking your feed every day at lunch, setting a timer for 30 minutes so you don’t waste hours mindlessly scrolling through posts, or turning off the automatic notifications on your phone so you’re not constantly checking for new posts. The important thing is that you remain mindful of how time on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or other social media networks affects your overall mood and productivity. 

Follow People and Things That Bring You Joy

Strategically curate your social media feed. Follow friends and family who support your sobriety, recovery-oriented pages you find helpful, and pages or groups related to hobbies you enjoy. Regardless of what specific networks you choose to use, your social media feed should reflect your current commitment to leading a wellness-focused lifestyle. Interactions with toxic people or groups that promote a victim mentality will only keep you from continuing to progress in your recovery journey. 

Avoid Known Triggers

Cravings are a normal part of the recovery process, but it’s never a good idea to expose yourself to unnecessary triggers. If you know that content related to certain places, people, or things will make you think about drug and alcohol use, steer clear. 

Resist the Urge to Make Unfair Comparisons

Remember that what you see on social media is not reflective of a person’s day-to-day life. Flattering camera angles and artful use of filters make people seem taller and thinner than they really are. Home photos are strategically cropped, so the clutter of everyday life is out of the frame. People gleefully share the details of fancy vacations, promotions at work, and fun evenings out with friends but remain silent about their struggles. You’re never seeing the whole story. 

Remember Your Manners

A good rule of thumb for social media is to not post anything you wouldn’t be willing to say to someone face to face. Strive to be kind, considerate, and respectful. If you see content you find upsetting, take a deep breath and walk away before you post something you’ll later regret. In addition to jeopardizing real-life relationships with people you care about, inappropriate posts can also have negative consequences in your professional life. Regardless of your privacy settings, it’s possible a current or prospective employer might see your post and decide it reflects poorly on your overall judgment. 

Don’t Feed the Trolls

A focused online debate can be healthy, but getting sucked into arguments with people who aren’t behaving rationally can have a seriously negative impact on your mood. Refuse to engage with anyone who posts insults, lies, or half-truths. 

Strive to Live in the Moment

There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to share photos and videos on social media, but being consistently in pursuit of the perfect shot can make real-life experiences less enjoyable. Psychologists agree it’s better to simply enjoy a beautiful backyard sunset with your significant other or a day at the beach with your kids than to spend your time trying to capture an Instagram image.

Consider a Digital Detox

If social media is increasing feelings of depression and anxiety, it’s time to consider a digital detox. Disconnect for a day or two to meditate, spend time in nature, write in your journal, or engage in your favorite screen-free activities. Taking periodic breaks from social media in this way can help you maintain a more balanced outlook when you head back to your favorite sites.

Know When to Seek Outside Help

For people in recovery, there is a real danger of developing a substitute addiction. This is a behavioral addiction that replaces the void left by drugs and alcohol. Addictions to food, shopping, gambling, or sex are the most common substitute addictions for people in recovery for a substance use disorder, but the possibility of a social media addiction is also one you must be aware of.

At Waypoint Recovery Center, our holistic approach to recovery encourages you to heal the mind, body, and spirit as you work towards building a brighter future. The staff at our South Carolina drug and alcohol addiction treatment program are committed to helping you find healthy ways to cope with stress, connect with others, and express your emotions so you can continue to move forward in your recovery.


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For more information about Waypoint Recovery Center’s substance use disorder treatment services, please contact us anytime at (888) 978-5188.

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Outpatient Treatment
5401 Netherby Lane, Suite 402
North Charleston, SC 29420
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499 Wild Hearts Rd
Cameron, SC 29030
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