Are you spending too much time online? Do you find you are neglecting other important activities to connect with your friends virtually rather than IRL (in real life)? If so, you’ve come to the right place because now it’s time to take the Social Networking 12 Step Recovery Program!
This list is based on the 12 step principles for those in recovery from addictive, compulsive, or other behavioral problems developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. If you are reading this blog you have taken the first step to recovery. Of course, if you’re reading this blog you probably already have a problem… as do I. But, have no fear, help is on the way!
- Admit we are powerless over our Social Networking addiction (we try to log off of Twitter, Facebook, Amplify, Foursquare and other sites but we just can’t. We keep saying we’re only going to check one more comment or respond to more reply and before you know it if we’ve lost track of time and our deadlines have passed. YOU MUST BE WILLING TO SAY “Hi, my name is _________ and I’m a social networking Addict” or there is no help for you!
- We believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity (only God, a power failure or no access to WiFi can help us now!)
- We’ve turned our will over God (because it’s going to take an act of God to get us off of these sites and there are more to join each and every day… will the madness ever end)
- We are taking moral inventory of ourselves (We take hard stock in ourselves and ask “how did this happened and why we aren’t getting any work done”?)
- We admit to God, to ourselves and to others the exact nature of our wrongs (yes, I spend more time on Facebook commenting on my friend’s walls than actually meeting with my friends… and I like it that way!)
- We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character (or to have our Highspeed Internet and/or cell phone provider cancel our service… whichever comes first)
- We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings (before we lose our jobs, clients, friends and several family members)
- We’ve made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all (that is… the dog that didn’t get walked, the loved on who didn’t get the pleasure of our company, the office work that didn’t get done, the deadline we missed or the hobby we ignored)
- We’ve made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others (but not if the only way we can do it is via Twitter)
- We continue to take personal inventory and when we are we wrong, promptly admit it (we know we are going to get on Twitter for hours.. but only after we have done our work and spent time with our loved ones. Wait… that’s a little too radical…. let’s just say we will keep our social networking visits to an amount of time that doesn’t impede our daily activities… baby steps… baby steps)
- We seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God and acknowledge God’s will for us and the power to carry that out (Dear Lord, please let me not ignore my obligations when I’m online… I DO want to have more than a virtual life).
- And finally…Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we carry this message to other addicts and promise to practice these principles in all our affairs. (We will let our friends know when they are spending too much time social networking and we will not judge those who only check in once a week. Of course, to actually know THEY are only checking in once a week WE have to be online more than that and therefore the cycle begins again.)
This 12 step program is based on a real recovery program with a little humor thrown in. However, if you are suffering from and actual addiction of any kind that is crippling your life, please seek professional help or log on to www.12step.org for support. You won’t find Twitter, Facebook or Foursquare listed there yet… but give it time… we will have our own, official support group in no time.
Now, go see one of your friends IRL will you please? My name is Danielle Ricks and I’m a social networking addict.