[Guest blog by Carolyn Straub]
As you’ve surely noticed, social networks are powerful tools for fostering community and sharing information. Reddit stands out from other platforms as a vibrant hub where likeminded people discuss with one another in communities called “subreddits.” Unlike other social media platforms which require you to use your real name and likeness, Reddit allows users to engage anonymously. In fact, it’s not just allowed. It’s encouraged! Just make sure to choose your username carefully, otherwise you’ll be stuck as “Low_improvement-18” forever (like me).
Because of its ability to promote deep connection while protecting privacy, Reddit is a fantastic place to build recovery-focused communities. One specifically for “SMARTies” – those interested in the SMART Recovery program — already exists, and it’s thriving! If you enjoy connecting with other recovery-minded people in casual, online settings (and being a bit goofy while doing it), you will fit right in. As the top moderator of the subreddit, I may be biased. So don’t just take my word for it, check it out yourself. This is especially true if you are concerned about bullying. This is a concern that, as a moderator, I take very seriously. To convince yourself of the civility of the subreddit, look at old posts. The level of respect given to others is how you will be treated as well. Viewing the subreddit doesn’t require you to make a Reddit account.
If you do decide to make an account, there are many ways to get involved on the SMART Recovery subreddit. The easiest way is to leave a comment on a check-in post. You can introduce yourself (using your Reddit alias of course), ask questions, and even include an emoji or two to spice things up. I also recommend commenting on the weekly posts where we discuss different elements of the SMART Recovery program and how to apply them to our lives. For example, on “Motivation Monday” posts, members share strategies for supporting the first point of the 4-Point Program®, Building and Maintaining Motivation. But we’re not always so serious! Community members often incorporate their offbeat senses of humor into their content. This usually manifests in silly GIFs, good-natured jokes, and enthusiastic celebrations for member milestones. According to the SMARTie mentality, it’s all part of fourth point – Living a Balanced Life.
Although I did not create the SMART Recovery subreddit myself, I feel a deep responsibility to serve the community. I took ownership of it about a year ago because it was unmoderated, which prevented members from engaging with the subreddit in meaningful ways. Since then, I have cleaned up the community and grown it to nearly 10k members. I am proud to say that it now reflects the spirit and principles of the SMART Recovery organization, despite not being an official platform. There’s nothing I or the community would love more than to welcome you as a member of the SMART Recovery subreddit, if you so desire.
I look forward to learning your (hopefully not embarrassing) Reddit alias soon!
You can find Hey SMARTies subreddit here: https://www.reddit.com/r/SMARTRecovery/
*Please note: this sub is moderated by trained SMART volunteers but is not officially affiliated with SMART Recovery.