Kate's Blog

Is Social Media Sabotaging Your Sobriety?

Have you ever noticed that whenever you’re trying to be good and not drink, social media suddenly seems full of boozy pictures? 🙄

Your best friend is posting pretty pictures of cocktails… 🍸 Someone else is sharing wine o’clock memes… 🍷 And don’t get me started on the adverts for booze! 🤦‍♀️

So – is it possible to use social media and NOT feel triggered by it? I think so. And I have some practical tips to share in this week’s blog.

Key points:

I’m going to assume you don’t want to come off social media completely. I get it – it’s part of life for many of us. Yes, there are negative things about these platforms, but there are also really positive things too. You can find cool, sober people online as well (like me! I’m @thesoberschool on Facebook and Instagram). I’ve been sober for a long time and have done that without needing to ditch social media, despite having a lot of friends who drink.

When you see someone posting a picture of a glass of wine saying: “Thank god it’s the weekend…”, I want you to step back a little bit. Really think about what’s going on for that person. Why are they posting that? It’s just a glass with some liquid in – it’s actually a very boring photo! So why do they want to get likes on that? Often it’s because they’re looking for approval or for other people to say, “Yes, me too!” Deep down, everyone knows drinking isn’t good for you. So it feels better when other people endorse our drinking, or normalise it, or say: “You deserve that!” or “I’m opening a bottle as well.”

You cannot tell what kind of relationship people have with alcohol from their posts. When I look back through photos from my drinking days, I look just like everyone else. I’m out, having fun, going to events, gigs, parties… everything looks great. There are no pictures of the drinking I did at home alone or the hidden drinks. When you’re feeling triggered because “everyone else” seems to be able to drink normally, remember that you don’t know what happens behind closed doors. I can guarantee you that you’re friends with at least one person who is very unhappy about their drinking, but you don’t know that – because they hide it just as well as you do.

As I said, you don’t need to delete the apps – but perhaps scrolling at wine o’clock isn’t serving you? I’d also recommend implementing a few other basic changes… If your profile picture is of you drinking, change that, because it’s something you see all the time. And did you know you can turn alcohol adverts off on Facebook and you can also mute people without them knowing?

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


6 Responses

  1. Social Media, TV and other people drinking will forever push alcohol as an amazingly fun time. But the reality is pretty much the opposite for everyone, eventually, (who are medium to high on the AUD spectrum).
    I can look alcohol directly in the face and finally see it is a bold faced LIAR. Pretty to look at, ugly in its reality (for me).
    I am deglamorizing it. For me. No judgments on others.

    1. The most effective method to understand alcohol’s true nature is to remove it from its pedestal and reveal the reality. This approach to stopping drinking empowers you to regain control and is the premise for everything I teach in my Getting Unstuck coaching programme for women.

  2. Thank you Kate 🙂 very helpful advice!

    I would just also add that for those posting pictures of their drinks – as well as validation for their drinking, I think it is also as simple as wanting to be part of the herd almost, and that posting pictures of alcohol is an easy way to declare ‘I’m normal, I’m one of you’. It can also highlight insecurities about other aspects of themselves – i.e. they believe they will get more likes from a picture of a pretty drink in a glass in a nice location, but they don’t want to share pictures of themselves due to feeling insecure.

    Not being judgemental at all – as I have done this myself 100%. Why do we put alcohol on this pedestal that it gets the limelight rather than pictures of our experiences, or people we are with? I have to admit I might be tempted to post a picture of a pretty mocktail, and I’m always posting food – perhaps that is my insecurities coming out haha!

    1. Hi Mary, In your Settings and Ad Preferences you can choose what you want to see and what you don’t want to see.

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