Do you ever get SUPER tempted to perseverate on social media content that just makes you feel AWFUL? I do.
You’re not weird. LOTS of us do that.
We’re drawn to accounts we can’t stand. We click on posts that raise our blood pressure.
Everybody reading this has probably done that at least once. Okay, maybe twice. All right, possibly a few times.
We KNOW we should just let go, move on, drop it…but for some reason we find ourselves returning to that social media content that drives us bonkers, again and again.
It’s important to realize that at least some of that social media content that we find so painfully addicting is actually DESIGNED to draw us in like that.
There are people, right now, writing posts that are purposefully crafted to get you to hate click on them.
For as enthusiastic as we humans tend to be about things we like and agree with, it’s well known hat we can be even more passionate about engaging with things we DISlike and DISagree with.
The thing is: if we’re really interested in living meaningful lives— not to mention, if we’re in the process of recovering from depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, an eating disorder, or another emotional or behavioral struggle— it’s REALLY important we learn to disentangle ourselves from social media content we hate.
We just don’t need the burden. The triggers. The stress.
Managing our recovery is very often about managing our stress and our triggers.
We can’t control the fact that we’re GOING to experience stress and be exposed to triggers— but we can learn to get a handle on at least SOME of the stressors and triggers that enter our awareness.
When we become aware of something on social media that ONLY enrages us, it’s time to set a boundary with it.
If it ONLY distracts us, if it ONLY drags us down, if it ONLY turns us into a version of ourselves we don’t like, there’s no upside to even toying with it.
Some social media content, we need to treat like an addict treats their substance of addiction.
We have to go cold turkey.
We have to use the block button, and mean it.
We have to have a PLAN for how to deal with ourselves when we WANT to sneak around our own block to look at the content that’s harming us.
That is to say: a relapse prevention plan.
We might think that we “shouldn’t” have to take such drastic measures to keep ourselves from looking at certain social media content— after all, it’s only Twitter, right? It’s only Facebook, it’s only Instagram, what’s the big deal?
The big deal is, when we’re trying to manage our feelings and behavior, what we look at, what we let in, what we engage with, matters. It matters big time.
Ask anybody who is seriously recovering from an eating disorder: Instagram is not a take-it-or-leave-it thing.
Ask anybody who is struggling with suicidal ideation: certain rabbit holes on Twitter can be literally life threatening.
Ask anybody who is trying to stay grounded in a flashback: the personalities and words we take in on ANY social media site can keep us present or send us spiraling.
Take your social media consumption seriously— ESPECIALLY if you’re in recovery.
Pay attention to how looking at certain accounts and pages impacts how you feel and what you do.
And be willing, if necessary, to COMPLETELY cut out certain social media presences— and, if you need to, seek support and accountability in cutting them out.
Life’s too short to let social media put your recovery at risk.