Are you a regular user of social media? Do you wonder if social media will interfere with your recovery? Recovering individuals should watch out for media immersion which tends to have negative effects on your emotions. More and more research shows that social media has aggravating effects on mental health. For this reason, many treatment centers require patients to disconnect from social media during their treatment.
For many recovering individuals, especially young people, social media can be an addiction of its own. Apps like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok have a special lure for you to check in constantly. For someone with a history of addictive behavior, this is especially true. This in and of itself is damaging, but the negative effects are compounded by the fact that social media is a breeding ground for negativity, judgment, and comparison. Even after you reach early sobriety, it is important to do some “media fasting” often so that your emotional health does not suffer under all the media negativity.
Effects of the Media Environment on Your Mental Health
Communication technology and social media allow us to stay in touch with our loved ones even from far away. They make life much more convenient. We can complete daily tasks from smartphones or social media platforms. At the same time, such immersion in a media-saturated environment can do more harm than you realize to your mental health. Its non-stop nature lures you to stay on top of trends so you won’t feel behind. There is never enough time to browse all the new content which can make you exhausted but still hooked. While you absorb all this information, there is an unprecedented scale of negativity from all corners of the internet. You may feel informed but depressed and torn between quitting and re-engaging. Social media has created a status-sensitive culture. You may feel inadequate or compelled to jump on trends to draw attention.
Other stressors come from the overwhelming negativity in synchronized news consumption through social media. You can hear news from every corner of the world in an instant which becomes emotionally depleting and exhausting. Some people call this “compassion fatigue.” This great volume of negativity is more than one person can bear. You might feel anxiety, fear, and depression over too much bad news.
When Social Media Negativity Interferes With Addiction Recovery
Addiction recovery is a long process during which your needs and wellness require much attention. Your sobriety depends on focus and commitment. It is important to avoid triggers and distractions from this main task. Social media can distract you with a million things that are outside of your own life. This cyber-connectedness may be entertaining for a while but does little good to your well-being.
The reason many people find it difficult to quit is that social media use has become an addiction. By engaging with people you do not know in real life, social media may help you have a false sense of connectivity. The time and energy you devote to social media may come at the expense of real-life social connectivity, leading to more isolation.
Social media addiction can even endanger or sabotage the progress you have made during recovery. After you quit drugs and alcohol, you might have a lot of time to fill. Using this time to consume social media may lead to overloading and fatigue that interfere with your sleep patterns and mood. While treatment should help you feel more satisfied with simple living, your continued consumption of social media might add more stressors. Sensory fatigue due to lack of self-control is another issue that might eventually drain your sense of motivation for long-term recovery.
Benefits of Disconnecting from Social Media
During treatment and recovery, try to limit social media interaction to help remove you from the negativity and stress. Deciding to log off social media and focus your attention more on the real world is a good start to rebuilding a meaningful social life. All good relationships require time. You should begin to appreciate spending time with family and friends, instead of envying others who seem to have good relationships.
When immersed in social media, you consume other people’s realities. Logging off social media allows you more creativity to engage with the world around you. You can spend time learning a new skill, such as painting or woodworking, or join a hobby club. Instead of fretting while scrolling down a screen, you are grounded in a new social life that is rewarding and healthy to the body and the mind.
Are you struggling with social media addiction during recovery? Do you know that the time and energy you spend on social media is not only wasteful but it can harm your chances for sustained recovery? At Laguna Shores Recovery, we can help you disengage from social media and learn to reconnect with the off-screen world. Your health and sobriety should be your primary focus, and we can help you get there. Our licensed mental healthcare professionals and therapists will provide you with a treatment plan specific to your needs. Our residential facility offers a range of treatments, including diagnosis, behavioral therapies, and 12-step programs. We take pride in our high level of care and our holistic approach. You deserve to enjoy a sober life and thrive socially in the real world. Quitting social media is an important step forward. You will soon experience more fulfilling social relationships. Call us at (866) 906-3203.