The Bell system coined the advertising phrase “reach out and touch someone” in 1979, and this idea is so important on a path of growth and recovery. In addiction, we isolate from others; in recovery we reach out to others through social media.
The importance of connecting with other people
In recovery, we reach out:
- To get beyond the shame the addiction has caused us to have
- To connect with others who have experienced addictions, and
- To encounter people who have grown beyond their addictions and who are reaching out to help those of us who are working to grow beyond our addictions.
Connecting with others who have gone through the pain of addiction, the work of recovery, and the self-examination that is involved in working one’s program is a positive step toward healing. Only those who have walked the path we have walked can truly understand:
- The vast array of conflicting feelings that come up for us
- The strong desire that arises from time to time to use our drug of choice once again
- The pain of coming face to face with our shortcomings
- The struggle to change, to offload old messages about ourselves that we learned as children, and replace them with new messages
- The difficulty in meeting, getting to know and representing our inner child.
Using social media to connect
In recovery we learn that we no longer have to do life alone, that it is not only okay, but quite healthy to reach out and connect with others. Reaching out to others allows us to find solutions to our problems that are beyond our current vision.
It establishes bonds and a sense of family with people who know us and care about us. Connecting with others allows us to share our joys as well as our sorrows, and at times it even affirms our very being.
Social media venues
There are many ways to connect via social media, but these are the most popular:
Nowadays most phones have texting capacity. Although some people do not consider texting a social media venue, according to Derek Thompson in The Atlantic.com, texting is the most popular social network for teens. It has also become the communication method of choice for adults of all ages.
Verizon says texting is advantageous when your message is short, when you need to convey it quickly and do not want to be tied up with a phone call, and when you are in a public place. The main disadvantage appears when you dictate your text without checking it before you send it. Cell phone dictation apps do not always interpret your words correctly, and you can end up saying some strange things.
According to HubPages.com, Facebook is the most used social networking site on the internet. On Facebook you can create a page, create a business, or create a closed group site and invite people to join it. You can upload photos, videos, or start a video call on Facebook. You can chat both online and on your phone with a Facebook app.
The main disadvantage to Facebook, and one that persons in recovery have to be mindful of is that it can become addictive – if you let it.
RecoveryMonth.gov suggests using Twitter to follow users who have similar recovery interests. It is also useful for reaching out quickly in times of trouble to a large number of people with whom you have become connected via Twitter.
Whatever social media venue you choose, just remember it is very important to “reach out and touch someone” when you need support, help, or just to share. “Reach out and touch someone today” to share the recovery growth you have gotten with Next Level Recovery.