Online – recovery is a powerful tool. Just like any other tool, it can be dangerous if you don’t read the directions. This is a summary of how to navigate the recovery world on Facebook. A quick walkthrough of typical group rules and what is expected when sharing. When I entered this community there were no do’s and don’ts. If there was I missed them.
The world is changing all around us, so it isn’t surprising that recovery is changing too. In my opinion that is a good thing. With anything new though there are some bumps that need ironing out. If you are new to recovery or even an old timer and you stumble across the Facebook recovery community it can be pretty overwhelming. When I found the community it almost felt like I imagined Harry Potter felt when he first saw Diagon Alley. I had used Facebook for years to post pictures of my family, flowers, or a new recipe I tried and found success with them.
The first thing I will tell you is that there is no way to be anonymous in groups if you are using your real name. I mean that the groups on Facebook can be wonderful places to learn and share. Just always be aware that with 150-30,000 members of one group give or take thousands, it’s impossible to ensure your safety. Anything that you put in these groups could end up outside of the group.
Groups have rules that are usually pinned to the top of the page. When you join a group be sure to read the group rules. If you don’t understand the rules, be sure to ask someone.
Never share posts from a group. Those posts are private.
Be sure to keep any negative feedback to yourself.
You can share from pages, though. To your page or to groups.
You can tell the difference between and group and a page easily. Look at the top of the page, if you can like the page, its a page. If you had to join the group, yep, it’s a group.
The only universal law for pages is simple. When you find a post you like, simply use the share button to share the content. Don’t download, that is considered stealing intellectual property and people can and will get highly upset.
Be sure whether you are in a group or on a page that when you comment that you think before typing. Everyone has their battles, we are not here to judge, we are here to heal.
This one is tricky. First of all, if you can get a real life sponsor in the rooms, please do that. If you cannot get to meetings and that is why you are here please be careful who you choose. Here are some guidelines:
- Ask them if they have a sponsor
- Ask them if they have worked the steps
- Don’t ask the opposite sex to sponsor you ( yeah I know he’s cute but you don’t want to go there )
- Find a sponsor with a similar story or drug of choice
Finding a sponsor is very important so be careful and take your time choosing the right one. If you decide to get involved in the Facebook recovery community just remember it’s just like any other community, so don’t think that everyone has the best intentions or that since they are in recovery you can let them hold your wallet or babysit. This is like any other large community. There are all kinds of personalities and many are driven by things other than recovery.
Be picky when choosing a home group on Facebook. Date around and see which group you like and which you want to steer clear of. In the end, Facebook should offer you a great extension to your recovery plan.
If you encounter any bullying:
Remember that this is a community that has some possible untreated mental issues, immaturities, and ego’s. Just laugh at the little baby bully and click the wonderful block feature. Then sit back and enjoy the peace and quiet. I would let the admins know if it was in a group and page owner know if it is on a page. If they fail to act then block them too because anyone that condones that behavior is no better than the bully themselves. See now you just figured out that that group wasn’t right for you. Keep looking, you will find your spot.
The good news is that we do recover, and the only thing you need to do that, is you.
When in doubt, go to a real meeting and meet a real person to ask to be your sponsor. Good luck out there guys.