People check smartphones on and off throughout the day. This causes stress and a thought process that borders on obsessive to know what is happening in other people’s lives, some of whom are just barely friends or acquaintances. Social media has a lot to do with how people perceive their health and overall wellness. Escaping from this experience requires focus and intention, a sort of digital vacation. In early recovery, it is important to navigate social media with some trepidation so as not to be triggered. Find out if you need to try giving up digital devices for a time and what that may look like for your recovery.
When Social Media Hurts
Nearly 50% of Americans check their social media apps, emails, and text messages on a constant basis throughout the day. It may not be that they even received any new messages, just that they are so used to looking for new information that they check up on it. Mobile devices and social networks have changed the way Americans live and communicate. Almost all Americans own at least one device they always use. Constantly checking in can have a negative impact on both physical and mental health. Technology can become a source of stress in this way. The need for constant checking may be linked to the need to remain online on a regular basis. With unemployed respondents, the percentage of people who describe themselves as constantly connected drops to 34 percent. When people are not at work, they are checking in, as well. If you are one of those people in recovery struggling with digital devices, there is some hope.
There are no great solutions to the fear of missing out (FOMO) syndrome that people have nowadays. Everyone is afraid they are not going to see something or miss out on something being said online. This dependence on knowing what is being said can have a detrimental impact on people’s lives. With this dependence, people are driven to distraction, checking in while driving a car, riding a bike, sitting at work, eating dinner with the family, and almost any time people are seen in public. A tech break is essentially a way to cut off communication with the device by not making it tempting to check in so frequently. Some helpful tips to get started:
- Leave the smartphone or tablet device at home
- Put it in airplane mode when at work or doing some work around the house
- Keep devices away from the table while eating or engaging with others
- Set check-in times that you allow yourself to peruse social media sites, then put it away
- Use time tracker apps that let you know how much time you are using social media or limit the use to a certain amount per day before it ‘locks you out’
- Delete any apps off the phone and only check on the laptop at certain times to avoid the desire to click open the app and scroll
- Designate tech-free times like Friday or Saturday evenings and decide it will be a time to be away from technology
There are also longer periods of time to put the phone away like going on vacation. Bring a traditional camera to take photos, rather than focusing on how you can take pictures with your camera or navigate around with your apps. Give yourself the freedom to stay away from these apps for a time and see how you feel. You might just decide you like the feeling of not checking and set better limits. It might also save your recovery from undue stress.
Oceanfront believes in the power of tech to connect people, but it can be addictive in itself, after a while. Sometimes people end up with transfer addictions in recovery or check in too often, looking for support from social media. We can help you navigate the challenges that come in recover from detox to rehab to aftercare support. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295