Recovery’s Twitter Trap
I was giddy today when I logged on to discover that my blog reached 1,000 views all time. While a modest count to some, this is an accomplishment for this first-time blogger and tweeter. I’ve spent 100 months in sober recovery (last drink and drug on 10/13/2007) to the 1 month I’ve spent building a cyber-sober network. This post is about a single danger I perceive in cyber recovery.
I may sound accusatory and that’s fine. If you’re uncomfortable reading it, there is a reason. But I accuse no one here. I merely identify something I need to be vigilant about.
I thought of the term twitter trap before I googled it to realize it was coined by then executive editor of the New York Times Bill Keller. He used it to qualify the neurological pitfalls of social media, how social media doesn’t truly connect people or enlighten, it only skims the surface of thought and relationship.
Keller’s trap was best summarized best by novelist Meg Wolitzer in her novel The Uncoupling. Wolitzer describes the social media generation as “the generation that had information, but no context. Butter, but no bread. Craving, but no longing.”
The twitter trap I am referring to is particular to those in recovery from drugs and alcohol, like I am. My twitter account @maninrecovery is one I use for recovery issues and blog promotion. It’s not something I would go and promote at work. Not that I shy away from my being in recovery. In fact, I’m openly recovering. I choose not to cram my recovery down people’s throats because if I relapse, it will be a poor reflection on the the twelve step program I work.
I have an urge—more so on twitter than on my blog—to always broadcast a positive message. That is not good practice. It promotes dishonesty. I find honesty, especially self-honesty, vital to my recovery.
If I only put my best face forward, I will not put my best foot forward which is what my recovery is all about: doing the next right thing.
I recognize that relapse is not my first drink or drug. It is a subtle thought, an ignored urge or a feigned smile that starts the emotional snowball effect that ends in a drink or drug. I must watch my motives while blogging, tweeting, and connecting. If I’m not a reflection of myself at that moment, especially moments when I’m struggling, then I am moving closer to a drink, not further away from one.
So, I will tell myself—and all who read this and relate—that I need to avoid recovery’s twitter trap.