Being an international fellowship of people recovering from internet and technology addiction carries with it a paradox. We need to communicate and connect, but any feasible tools for doing so are based on technology, and most are using the internet. This means that they are potential triggering to some of our members. With this in mind, some possible recommendations for things to consider, when choosing tools to use in our fellowship, and the ways to use them:
- Don’t disallow or discourage the use of any tool, if it works for the people who use it.
- Do consider a warning/disclaimer when mentioning/recommending any media use as a tool for recovery. Example: ”For those who can safely do so, I recommend watching this YouTube video”. Be especially aware of this if you are speaking to newcomers, or are in other ways speaking from authority (e.g. the website)
- Do not assume or assert that a certain tool or mode of use is “safe” or “non-compulsive”.
For evaluation of specific tools:
- Can it be accessed on different platforms – smartphone, computer (Win/Mac/Linux/browser)?
- Can it be used at all if you do not have a smartphone?
- Does it require people to have an account linked to another service – e.g. Google/Facebook/MS.
- Does it enforce or support anonymity– not revealing full names, location, phone numbers, email addresses? Dial-in anonymity can often be supported by anonymizing dial prefixes, and email anonymity by dedicated/throw-away addresses.
- Note that there are different types/levels of anonymity: Towards outsiders, towards other members and towards people in service/administrative positions
- Does it support different modes of interaction – push/pull/digest?
- Is there a cost associated with individual use – generally or in some cases?
- Is there a cost to the group – and is the group willing/committed to pay?
- Does the platform seem stable with regards to price, features, support? Note: For some of us, added features can be a negative thing.
- Always involve as many of the (potential) users as possible in the decision.