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Social Media and Addiction

Your neighbor bought a new car. Your ex-husband is dating a gorgeous blonde at least 15 years younger than you. Your rival in high school was just promoted. Your sister ran another marathon. Your sexy but perpetually unemployed ex-boyfriend just landed his dream job making six figures. Scrolling through FaceBook, you read all of this before you even get out of bed. You are battling with addiction. Getting out of bed isn’t always easy. Making it through the day without a drink is a struggle for you. How is that fair? The constant comparison wears you down. You feel defeated and exhausted. What kind of life is this?

Social media is amazing. It brings people together from all over the world. It keeps you connected to people you would have otherwise forgotten. It gives you a place to share pictures of your kids, your pets, and yourself for your friends and family to see. With so much good, how has it become so dangerous?

Social media can be dangerous to our self-esteem. Comparisons can create unrealistic expectations and set standards that are not healthy. Does this mean Instagram is evil? Of course not! It does mean that we need to keep our mental health in mind as we peruse these sites. Especially if we are new to recovery, we must be careful not to jeopardize our strength and progress. Here are a few tips to keep the comparisons to a minimum.

  1. Remember we are all human! No one is perfect, even when they look like it on social media. His tan might be fake; her skin might be photoshopped. Your husband’s new girlfriend might be gorgeous in a miniskirt, but might be a complete bore to talk to.    
  2. There are two sides to every story. Just because she posted the picture of the brand-new car, doesn’t mean she isn’t now saddled with an enormous loan while your bucket of bolts car is all paid off. Your high school rival may have gone through a decade of being on welfare before finding her current job.
  3. Perspective is key. Remember that what is right for someone is not always good for you. Everyone values different things. If your favorite hobby is riding horses, you may not have time to train for a marathon. Rather than compare your nonexistent running ability with your sister’s recent marathon, give her credit for her effort and recognize all your efforts in your unique way. Be happy for other people and their blessings, and use those moments also to be thankful for all of the blessings in your life.

Continual use of social media can be detrimental to self-esteem when it leads to unhealthy comparisons and judgments. Use care when involving yourself in social media, and make sure it isn’t doing more harm than good.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or having trouble in their recovery, please call Villa Tranquil at 561-294-0427 to talk with someone about your individual needs.