Though problematic or compulsive internet use has been debated as far as validity and scope, it is not currently recognized as a psychiatric disorder. However, a cautionary word from my Mom: “Anything in excess is a problem. Everything in moderation!” With that disclaimer in place, let me welcome you to my world of social media and internet research as a viable source of highly relevant information, hope, inspiration and support.
Like many people nowadays, I am plugged into the internet 24-7 via my smartphone. I also log about 2-6 hours a day of either research or perusing social media. My favorite pastime is reading newsfeeds from social media and –when my interest is piqued—going to the associated links to read or watch more. I have “Liked” almost 400 pages of various interests: sports, activities, music, television, movies, hobbies…Oh yes, also science, mental health and substance abuse pages.
Facebook generates my newsfeed from the pages I “like”, posting stories about that particular organization, individual or topic. I get so many inspiration memes and stories that it is a delight to check my newsfeed. Of course, this means editing both friends and the pages I like, to eliminate the sour pusses and posts that are depressing, objectionable to my ideals or simply not part of my program (healthy, inspiring and informative content). (NOTE: Every 6 months I post the following “If you are still on my friends’ list it means that you add something wonderfully positive to my life! Thank you!”). I have far more organizational or interest feeds than I do friends’ feeds (by comparison, I only have 70 friends versus 400 pages).
Besides protecting my mind from negative, gossipy or triggering information, I also try to be a positive force for my friends by reposting inspirational stuff. Moreover, my account is private, so only my friends can see and comment on my posts. I can’t overemphasize the helpfulness of a meme telling me not to give up, an article on how addiction affects my brain, or postings from the latest rallies for mental health destigmatization.
Here is a list of the top pages I like on Facebook (maybe you’ll like them too):
- Faces and Voices of Recovery, US and Canada
- Unite to Face Addiction
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD)
- NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- The Anonymous People
- The Recovery Project
- Substance Abuse
- Narcotics Anonymous
Bipolar Disorder and other Mental Health
- International Bipolar Foundation
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- Psychology Today
- American Psychiatric Association
- The Semi-Colon Tattoo Project (just got mine!)
- My Dialectical Life
- DBT Thought for the Day
- Mental Health Foundation
- Personality Disorders Awareness Network (great Memes!!!)
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (free ecards, 24 hour support and great memes!)
- BP Magazine for Bipolar
- The Misadventures of a Bipolar Girl and Friends
- Bipolar Chick
However (if at all) you use social media and internet searches, be sure you get your information from reliable sources! Happy surfing :)
Read the rest of Liz's post for us here.