Sobriety is trending – there’s a new wave of sober influencers, and they’re here to stay. From Instagrammers to YouTube hosts, recovery bloggers to Facebook groups, the sober generation is exploring alcohol moderation and alcohol abstinence –hashtagging their posts with #sobercurious, #teamsober, #soberaf, #soberissexy, #soberrevolution, #sobernotboring and more.
In this article, we’ll look at how social media influencers are opening up new and inspiring conversations about alcohol. From the #sobercurious, who are interested in alcohol moderation, to #teamsober who post more about alcohol abstinence – there’s a plethora of opinions and experiences they share. But how do you know if alcohol moderation or alcohol abstinence is the right choice for you?
The #SoberCurious Generation – Alcohol Moderation is Going Mainstream
In the 21st Century world of social media personalities and trending hashtags, the #sobercurious crowd is making quite some noise. In the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and right across the alcohol-consuming world, millions of people are speaking up about alcohol.
The #sobercurious trend is most noticeable amongst young adults on social media, but there are people of all ages signing up to sobriety communities and alcohol-free challenges online. In the UK, millions of people participate in annual events like Dry January and Go Sober for October, where they temporarily abstain from alcohol. Some raise money for charity and post online about their progress. Collectively, they are questioning how much they drink, why they drink, what alcohol gives them, and what it takes away.
On social media, sober influencers are attracting large audiences – tens or even hundreds of thousands of followers. They are posting about the advantages of cutting down alcohol and having alcohol-free days. They describe enjoying more energy and greater productivity at work. Many post about positive changes to their appearance and the benefits of sober time with friends.
#Sobercurious influencers are also challenging the belief that drinking alcohol is the only way to have fun – indeed if it’s much fun at all. People are seeking out sober festivals, alcohol-free bars and café culture. Investors are backing non-alcoholic drinks producers. Industries are tapping into the health and wellness benefits of sobriety – offering alcohol-free yoga holidays, meditation retreats, sober meet-ups and motivational events. People are delighting in their hangover-free Sundays, making the most of their holidays and time with the kids.
All these conversations and activities are helping to increase alcohol awareness. They are challenging the status quo that alcohol is an obligatory part of everyday life. The #sobercurious generation is demonstrating there are interesting alternatives to drinking. They are also breaking down old stereotypes – including the myth that sobriety is boring, unacceptable or strange.
#TeamSober – Alcohol Abstinence as a Way of Life
The #TeamSober crowd are sharing their experiences of quitting alcohol altogether. They’re posting about the joys and challenges of living sober – including many who are in recovery from alcohol addiction. They’re seeking support from online communities on difficult days. They’re also encouraging others who want to stop drinking for good.
Many #teamsober posts are from people who have been through alcohol detox and rehab programmes. They are using social media platforms as one form of recovery support, to help them stay sober, overcome problems and fulfil their goals. People also celebrate recovery milestones online, posting the number of days or years they have been alcohol-free.
People who choose alcohol abstinence have often attempted alcohol moderation in the past. They may have previously tried to control their drinking – for example, having days off alcohol, switching from spirits to beer, keeping a drink diary or going to the gym. All these methods may have worked for a short time – but for most people who are alcohol dependent, they return to drinking the same amount or more.
Is Alcohol Moderation for You?
Alcohol moderation is an excellent choice for people who want to feel fitter, healthier, more focused at work or save money. If you are not addicted or dependent, then alcohol moderation can be a quick route to boosting your wellbeing and achieving your goals.
For example, you decide to cut down alcohol to save for a holiday – instead of spending your money on wine, you put it towards a week on the beach. Or you have exams coming up, so you drink less to improve your concentration. Perhaps it’s your wedding soon, so you stop drinking to look your best on the day.
Alcohol moderation can also be a good option for people who are worried about their health. For example, you drink double the recommended alcohol units each week. You want to reduce to safe quantities, cutting out a couple of bottles of wine each week. By setting a clear goal and keeping note of your progress, you will soon see if moderation is sustainable for you.
To moderate alcohol successfully, ideally, you need to feel positive about your goal. You see reducing alcohol as life-enhancing and achievable. The benefits of drinking less are clear. You aren’t worried about how you will cope with less alcohol, nor what other people will think. Anxiety, fear or anger don’t increase when you cut down. It doesn’t feel like an overwhelming or exhausting effort to drink less. You aren’t physically addicted either, so you don’t suffer alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
If you’re finding alcohol moderation very hard, then alcohol counselling is a good option. With professional support, you can uncover the reasons why it’s difficult for you to moderate.
Is Alcohol Abstinence for You?
If trying to moderate alcohol becomes a major preoccupation for you, then alcohol abstinence may actually be an easier route for you.
For example, your doctor has told you to cut down alcohol due to early signs of liver disease. The idea of cutting down makes you feel annoyed or unhappy rather than motivated. You’ve tried to keep a note of alcohol units but it’s not helping. If this is the case, you may find surprising relief in alcohol abstinence – where you no longer have to count units or watch how much you drink. Most people discover unexpected freedoms and fulfilment in sobriety too.
Alcohol abstinence is also a great option for people who can stop drinking for a few days or weeks, but who usually drink heavily once they start. If you lose control when you drink, then trying to moderate can be an uphill struggle – particularly if you’re psychologically or physically hooked.
If alcohol moderation makes you feel unhappy, as if you’re missing out on life or having to compromise, then please contact Addiction Helper for an alcohol assessment. Abstinence-based treatment can help you recover and build an exciting new life.