On January 27, 2017, Sierra Tucson Chief Operations Officer Jaime Vinck, MC, LPC, NCC, CEIP, was featured on News 4 Tucson – KVOA, weighing in on the harmful effects of social media addiction. Compulsive behavior such as checking one’s news feed several times per day, or comparing oneself to the ‘perfect’ life of his or her friends, can actually lead to more serious conditions like depression and anxiety. Here are a few tips for healthy social media management.
- Evaluate your social media use and ask yourself, “Does it bring me joy?” If the answer is no, review your patterns of use, as well as the feelings that you experience about your place in the world when you use. Journal your use and associated feelings for a week. Decide if social media is worthy of your precious time. When we ‘Facebook stalk’ our high school nemesis that appears to have the perfect life, only to experience pain, it is a form of self-harm or “Cyber Cutting.”
- Take an inventory of how much time you are spending on social media. Ask yourself or your loved ones if your use is getting in the way of your relationships. Are you less productive at work or school due to constant viewing of Twitter or Instagram? Does your significant other feel that he or she is in competition with your phone? If any answers are yes, then commit to not checking your personal email or social media accounts during business hours, and do not bring your phone to the dinner table.
- Practice mindfulness when it comes to social media. Be present and in the moment, practicing deep breathing and active listening. This will result in a peaceful feeling of tranquility that exists only in the present, increasing your awareness of your surroundings. How many opportunities are missed because of the distraction of a buzzing phone and others’ updates?
- Set healthy boundaries with your technology. Limit use to one hour per day, only after self-care has been implemented. Take care of yourself—mind, body, and spirit—and turn to social media once those needs have been met. Feed your body and your soul before giving in to the urge to check the Twitter feed!
- Strive for internal validation by living a life that you know is “on purpose.” Know who you are and why you are here, regardless of the number of “likes” you receive on your recent photo or how many followers you have. Finally, please avoid comparing yourself to others, as their persona is not necessarily their truth. Everyone has seasons of pain and challenges. Most important, you are a child of the universe and deserve happiness!
For more information about Sierra Tucson’s comprehensive residential programs, please call our Admissions Coordinators at (800) 842-4487 .