Engaging in Social Media with Healthy Boundariesby baladmin | September 8, 2015
It can be difficult to engage in social media in early addiction recovery. Last week we outlined some tools to alleviate the initial anxiety (see article here.) Going forward you’ll need to decide how you’re going to engage with people online while maintaining healthy boundaries.
To start, a good question to ask yourself is how do you want to present yourself to others? The words and images you post online will attract people with the same interests. Take some time and ask yourself what passions you want to highlight. If it’s surfing, then posting a picture of the latest swell will probably prompt a friend to invite you on a surf trip. Similar, if you post an article about politics and the economy be ready for some debate on your page feed.
As an individual you have unique facets that make up who you are, but there is a time and place for each one. Here are some boundaries to consider for yourself:
Read Twice-Post Once – What you post is for everyone in your network to see. Ask yourself if the intention behind what you’re posting lines up with your core values. If you feel good about it then go ahead and post. If you doubt that usually means, “don’t.” Also, make sure things are accurate and spelled correctly.
React with Caution – Whether you are angry with the health care system or eager to chyme in on the latest school shooting be careful of posting when you’re heated. Furiously typing a response could make you regret it later. Make it a point to wait until you’re calm to post your opinions.
Messaging – Over time a person can gather thousands of ‘Followers’ and ‘Friends.’ Many of these people can get lonely from time to time. You don’t have to respond to each and every personal message you get. Carefully choose who you want to nurture friendships with and let the others find connection elsewhere.
Time – Social media can be distracting and addictive. Decide on a time of day that is best for posting and scrolling. For instance 15 minutes in the afternoon and 15 minutes at night. Keeping these boundaries will help you to engage in your connections online and be present with the people physically around you.
Overall, being mindfully of what you’re sharing and with who will serve you well. Recovery is an opportunity to reveal your authentic self and gain tools to forage through the world being that person. Social media can either help or hinder that journey and only you are navigating it. Onward.