If you are on social media, you probably have a love/hate relationship with it (don’t we all?!). You love it for all things you can learn, people you can discover, places you can go to (virtually), and resources it provides. But, social media can also be a place that can lead you to compare yourselves to others and suck up more of your time than you’d care to admit!
Social media has so many benefits if used for the right reasons, and it has changed the way we as a society communicate and share our lives. I mean, how else are you going to know what I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner today, yesterday and the day before…and the day before—the people need to know! In all seriousness, if you are going through recovery or trying to make any changes or improvements in your life, social media can be a great platform that gives you access to thousands of free resources. And while I’ll definitely be sharing this on my socials as well, here’s a few tips for how to use social media in a healthy manner that will serve you and provide value to your life.
First and foremost, unfollow accounts or people that post content that either upsets you, leads you to comparison, or triggers you. If you are going through recovery, the last thing you need to see in your daily scroll is someone using, or someone posting a video that leads you to think about using. Not only do these types of accounts hurt your mental health but it’s not adding any value to your life by following them.
Second, follow accounts of people and places that inspire you.That can be a person who has been sober for 10+ years, a virtual recovery coach, someone documenting their recovery journey in a way that relates to what you’re going through or just accounts that bring you joy. It can also be a travel account that posts places you’ve always wanted to go. There are a variety of different types of accounts that could be worth following, like ones that post inspiring quotes, teach you new skills, or just entertain you with all of their funny videos (cat videos specifically—#amiright?). You have the choice to make your social media feed be whatever you want, but stopping and asking yourself, “Will this account bring value or add joy to my life?” before you hit the follow button can lead to a high quality social media feed.
Third, join an online community. There’s a great quote about communities that goes like this: “One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals,” – Jean Vanier. Oftentimes when we are going through recovery or any big change in our lives we feel alone and like we are the only one going through something like this. One of the best ways to get through a hard time and stay on the right track is to connect with others who are going through something similar or who have already been through it. We are all more alike than we are different, and finding a community that will encourage us, applaud us, and give us relatable advice is priceless. Like, actually priceless—meaning it’s free to join these online communities on social media and the value you can get from them can’t be calculated in dollars. Here are a few we recommend following: SoberBuddy (obviously), Sober Saturdayz and Recovery Rockstars just to name a few.
At the end of the day, you have the choice to make your social media experience whatever you want it to be. We totally encourage following as many silly cat video accounts as possible, just try to be aware of when you’re mindlessly scrolling and think twice about who you follow. Social media is a great tool to connect with others going through recovery and can be a great place to find a community of others who will inspire you.