Coping

Feeling the need for a mental break

How has technology impacted your trauma?

Activity:

This exercise will address how to control the things that stimulate traumatic memories, negative thought patterns and the emotions you are trying to overcome. Stimulus control is the process used to limit the impact of anything, place, or person, that brings negativity to your remembrance. This is accomplished by replacing the thought with a more productive or positive activity.

One way to incorporate stimulus control is the utilization of technology. Today's citizens depend on technology for information at increasingly high rates. Smartphones and social media have grown exponentially.There are dangers associated with certain technologies especially, in cases of domestic and sexual violence.However, there is promise in using technology as an educational tool to control negative stimuli.

First, let’s review the negative implications of technology and how to avoid being victim to further abuse due to technology.

Step One--Determine where you want to “see” you on the web.

Think about all of the places your name might be found in a web search. Even if you think you have an idea, it might be safe to conduct your own Google search. Be cognizant of the fact that employers, volunteer organizations, social clubs, churches, and so forth may have your name listed in their directory. Any place your name or likeness might be located on the web, determine if you still are interested in having this information listed. Any place that you are not interested in having your name or likeness listed on the web, contact those sources immediately and request for it to be removed.

Step Two--Monitor Social Networks

Social networks are monitored in two primary ways. First, monitor your settings on all social networking sites where you have a presence. Even if you have an account that is rarely used, make it a point to check the privacy settings. Make sure to personalize all privacy settings on all social networks. Be cognizant that when a social network conducts an internal overhaul or system change, you will need to go back and assure that your personalized privacy settings are still intact. The second way to monitor your social networks is to be choosy about with whom you are connected. If you have shared friend, co-worker or family connections with a perpetrator or someone you are intentional about ending a relationship, be sure to eliminate all possible connections to those individuals by monitoring your friends or connections.

Remember that monitoring privacy settings also includes your computer settings. For example, enabling secure browsing (https increases your privacy). This will prevent you from being the victim of having your accounts hacked. To enable secure browsing, check the https box under the “account security” function. Some social networks allow users to deploy a “check-in” application. This allows you or your friends to reveal your exact geographical location when you post messages or tag photos. Make sure this function is turned off by visiting http://www.facebook.com/about/location for more information about Facebook’s “Check-In” applications. Disable “instant personalization” functions that allow third parties to access your personal data in order to market products that data reveals you might have an interest in purchasing. Opt out of this feature by unchecking the enable instant personalization on shopping sites. Disable the “public search” function by unchecking the public search box so that search engines will not reveal portions of your personal information.

Step Three--Limit Information Sharing

All information that is posted in social networking sites can be limited to audiences of your choice. Make sure to start with only allowing your photos, status updates and personal biographical information to be seen by people you know only. Next, any information that you post on someone else’s wall may be seen by people you do not know. Consider this as you post comments on other’s walls. If there is any doubt, use the private inbox feature to send messages to your friends.

Although we understand and recognize the dangers associated with using technology there are also several benefits. One of the benefits of technology is the use of applications or “apps.” Apps can be used with Smartphones or iPads as an educational tool on the go. This next component of this week’s activity is to conduct an “App-ervention.”

App-ervention!

The App-ervention exercise is a three-step activity for you to research and download apps to assist you in the recovery process.

Step 1:

Research--Using your mobile device or internet, search for apps related to preventing domestic violence, sexual violence, or grief.

Step 2:

Download--Using your mobile device, download at least one app. Typically, apps pertaining to social causes are free. However, if the app you chose has a fee that you cannot afford, please see the ministry team leader for this Bible study to see if the organization will sponsor the cost of the download.

Step 3:

Make a commitment--Now that you have a new tool to use to help you, make a commitment to become familiar with the app’s functions and test out the app in the Bible study group.

Examples of Apps that may be of interest:

Guardly is a mobile app for Smartphones that can help students and others faced with dating violence, abusive relationships, or a simple desire to feel safe when walking alone at night. Guardly empowers its users by providing one-touch access to their safety network.

OnWatch is a mobile app that utilizes all the capabilities of current Smartphone technology to provide user-friendly methods of staying in touch and connecting with friends and emergency personnel.

Circle of 6 is a mobile app for college-aged students and their friends to stay close, stay safe, and prevent violence before it happens.

Sexual Assault Awareness is a mobile app that provides information about sexual assault awareness.

HopeLine is a mobile app sponsored by Verizon for Android that not only provides direct access to support services and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, but also allows users to engage others involved in domestic violence awareness by sharing their photos and videos.

Love is not Abuse is a mobile app sponsored by Liz Claiborne Inc. has a digital dating abuse simulator that sends menacing text message and emails, allowing parents to experience abusive behavior for themselves, it also provides tips from top experts.

Life360 is a mobile app that allows family members to keep track of one another through passive location tracking and active check-ins. Members can also send out panic alerts in the event of an emergency. Life360 is now processing more than 100 million location updates every day, more than any other family locator service

Journal:

Why did you download the app that you chose?

Closing Thoughts:

Think about how your app download choice helped you when you are faced with people, places, or things that stimulate negative memories of your domestic violence, sexual violence, or abortion experience?