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Recovery’s Twitter Trap by Mark Goodson

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.


  1. Great read Mark. Thanks for being vulnerable enough to be completely honest in your experiences of recovery. Think its something we can all learn from and strive for. Awesome and thank you.

  2. Thanks again Kip for asking me to guest blog. You’ve got great insights into recovery and I look forward to hearing more from you, as well.

  3. Great post indeed.

    I could go on about the Twitter thing. I am on it a lot – started with just recovery and also about promoting my old blog. I then started to open up and right now it’s just *me*. Recovery, running, parenting, etc. I have met some fantastic people through Twitter and have met up with many of them. I do feel a connection. But not with every single person. I know that if and when I do walk away, people will forget me. I am okay with that. I would keep in touch with some, but the rest are acquaintances. Good people, but acquaintances.

    But honesty…I am with you. Good and bad. I don’t try to put up a front. When I am spiritually unfit, I make it known. lots of my folks help me through it. They worry, they fuss and they rally. As I do with others. I like what you said about putting the best foot forward and not the best face – love that line!

    Anyway, thanks again. Great post.


    • Man you know what? I was in a bit of a spiritual bind just yesterday, and the twitter crew came to the rescue. First time that has happened. I felt a really deep connection. Wish I could revise this post! (Although like you said, good and bad, I don’t think I would change anything I’ve written on it)
      Thanks Paul! And Thanks Again to Kip for creating this great site!

      • Doing what we are suppose to. All in to help others. Thank you for such an incredible read.

  4. Dwight Dwight

    This is a terrific thought (Twitter Considerations)–because it makes one think. Like so many other things– social media– technology– it all is based upon considered usage. Isn’t that also true for those who choose to use alcohol?

  5. Mark,

    Excellent points, as usual. I really got to get you on Transformation is Real. The subject of life-change is sooooo you. And you could get your blog out there too. Reaching out to you, man.

    Peace!! – DDM

    PS The blogging/social media/Twitter trap is a new permutation within our world. If they were to suddenly disappear (God forbid), we’d just go to some other distraction! Great points, though.

  6. are spot on. I loved this article. I appreciate you calling yourself out for all of us to see. Another shining example of attraction rather than promotion. Brutal honesty in all your affairs. I gotta hand it to you…that takes guts. Great way to lead the pack.

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