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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Punctuating Your Life With Alcohol



I've been thinking about this for a long time. About the culture of alcohol, and how prevalent and loud the need to document and broadcast drinking booze has become - and what does this mean for us - and what does it mean for our kids? 

Every day I see someone Instagramming their glass of wine, or Facebooking that they're updating their status with a short and stumpy glass of gin and tonic with a caption "Hey it's wine o'clock!" - or some such inane comment.

Not saying that my posts are any more interesting - but I'm not into sharing my every-beverage. 

What is our obsession with alcohol? Why is it the highlight of the day? And how did we become so infatuated with dulling life with alcohol. Because if you're punctuating your every day with bevvies, then I'm a little concerned. Alcohol is a drug - and 

A few months ago, after some particularly stressful days at work, I'd come home and drink most of a bottle of wine to myself. Then I'd wake up all dusty, and cranky and not feeling fabulous - and then I'd do it again. After a few days of this (and my body does not tolerate alcohol very well) I realised this was not a healthy, productive way to cope with stress. 

So I started exercising. 

What I'm saying is, by sharing images of alcohol, by talking about it all the time, aren't we setting ourselves up to normalise it - and in turn, isn't there a loss of control with this blase attitude? We're drinking alcohol like it's water - or at least, that's how it feels on the social media stage. And who else is seeing that firsthand? 

Alcohol in Australia is attributed to:

  • 30% of road accidents
  • 44% of fire injuries; 34% of falls and drownings
  • exacerbating depression
In young people, it's attributed to:

  •  a key factor in the three leading causes of death among adolescents; unintentional injury, homicide and suicide
  • Over one in five (22%) of all hospitalisations of young people aged 15-24 years old are alcohol related
  • Of all those hospitalised, 30% of young men and 23% of young women are hospitalised because of an alcohol related assault


Like my friend Kate pointed out - FebFast is all well and good - but since when was it a mean feat to go 28 days sans alcohol? 

Another friend, Courtney told me about Hello Sunday Morning - changing the world's relationship with alcohol. I've signed up.

Can you change your habits? Can you stop broadcasting your boozing? I'm not telling you to give up drinking forever, but I am thinking often about how alcohol affects our lives - and what it says to our children. 


I used the following sources for current Australian statistics: NSW Police, SA Government

image via Style Me Pretty

22 comments:

librarygirl said...

Yes.
I don't get the alcohol pics/brags whatever on blogs either. I mean, we're all grown-ups, not 16 year olds, when drinking was illicit or cool or glamorous. I also don't get the Feb fast OMG I'm not drinking for 28 days..... if it's such a big deal NOT to drink in someone's life I would SERIOUSLY be looking at how much I'm drinking for the other 11 months of the year.......

Sophie Kurylowicz said...

Ohhh interesting post! I am def guilty of the G&T/beer pic on the social media... I like alcohol. it's delicious. I don't drink on weekdays - but thats mostly a health and weightloss thing. These are fabulous points pmm, whilst i very much enjoy alcohol as a delicious celebratory refreshing beverage - there is no need to glorify it on social media - especially not in front of kids and people who may have problems with it... hmmmm, thanks for this food for thought.
xsx

Kate Dixon said...

A thought provoking post Lex.

Those who know me, know I do love a vino and generally will have a glass or two every night. Like Sophie, I am curbing my alcohol intake to the weekend purely down to wanting to be more healthy BUT I also keep in mind the saying a Mum at school loves "everything in moderation, including moderation".

I've gotta say though that one of the reasons why I am not on Facebook or Twitter is because I can't stand reading 'minute by minute' life updates that many people seem to love sharing.

I guess there is a risk of that occurring on Instagram also. Actually, now you mention it I have just unsubscribed from an Instagram feed that seemed to focus quite heavily on the 'G&T & wine o'clock'.

x

Anonymous said...

I find it strange that you used a styled image of champagne to illustrate your post when the thing you are complaining about - people "punctuating" their lives with alcohol is basically the same thing. Personally I find the idea of children on social media morally reprehensible, certainly more so than a picture of an afternoon or morning bevy on someone's personal twitter/Facebook etc account. Pretty judgemental, I thought more of your blog. Disappointed.

Lexi Kentmann said...

I've got no problem with a glass or two here and there, but the need to share it on the interwebz kind of irks me.

ecobabe said...

I think the people doing FebFast are seriously looking at how much they drink for the other 11 months of the year. That's part of the point of FebFast, take some time to look at your behaviour over all.

Anonymous said...

I guess I see all images someone chooses to put up as a reflection of themselves and their life. If I follow them it means I'm interested and need to accept them for who they are whether it be posting hundreds of pics of their dog, children, food, home decor or drinks choices. If I didn't like it I would stop following, I certainly wouldn't judge them. The world would be a much better place without it

ecobabe said...

I've never really noticed a proliferation of booze pics on the interwebz, but I really only look at FB and a few blogs. I don't instagram or pinterest really, I need to keep my social media addictions under control. I can only recall one pic of a glass of wine in the last week, and that is from a fairly tee-totally type Mumma I know who wanted to share that she was well enough to feel like a glass of wine. Alcohol is a relaxant, an addictive, depressing and fattening one at that! A lot of people choose to mark the change from 'rational high-powered day' to' relaxing low-powered night' by enjoying a glass or two of wine. Everything in moderation. I agree.


The one thing that I dislike is the serving of alcohol at children's parties, now whilst I enjoy a good glass of champagne, I think drinking at kids parties is sending the wrong messages to children. If the party is after 4pm and parents are having a separate function, then yes, OK, but not in the park at 10am, or 1pm.


Your post is most thought provoking,

Lexi Kentmann said...

I am posting the first of two anonymous comments I received on this post, as Disqus has not allowed them: I find it strange that you used a styled image of champagne to illustrate your post when the thing you are complaining about - people "punctuating" their lives with alcohol is basically the same thing. Personally I find the idea of children on social media morally reprehensible, certainly more so than a picture of an afternoon or morning bevy on someone's personal twitter/Facebook etc account. Pretty judgemental, I thought more of your blog. Disappointed.

Lexi Kentmann said...

And the second one Disqus tossed: I guess I see all images someone chooses to put up as a reflection of themselves and their life. If I follow them it means I'm interested and need to accept them for who they are whether it be posting hundreds of pics of their dog, children, food, home decor or drinks choices. If I didn't like it I would stop following, I certainly wouldn't judge them. The world would be a much better place without it

kellie montgomery said...

I think posting as "anonymous" is a very cowardly way. Name yourself and own your own comments!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Kellie that would be me Lady Moss of Rainbow Lane, my iPhone doesn't send through my details. Happy to own my comments and stand firm on my beliefs of non judgement cheers.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Give up my wine? I think not!

librarygirl said...

If they Febfast means they make a solid commitment to change I'm all for it.

Lexi Kentmann said...

It's not about giving up your wine. I'm talking about a shift in society where alcohol is available at every opportunity - and like I said, it's my observation.

Lexi Kentmann said...

This - again - was stopped by Disqus, in response to your comment: Sorry Kellie that would be me Lady Moss of Rainbow Lane, my iPhone doesn't send through my details. Happy to own my comments and stand firm on my beliefs of non judgement cheers.

Gags said...

What I think you're getting at (and what I totally agree with) is - there's nothing wrong with drinking or sharing a pic of alcohol as a general thing (whatever, it's fun and a part of life), but it is important to think about the world that we create on social media. It is, after all, an idealistic representation of ourselves and our world. In the real physical world we spend more cumulative hours sleeping and taking showers than drinking alcohol - but that isn't carried over into the social world, because it's not interesting or important to share. The implication is that alcohol is an interesting and important part of our lives.

And when you think of it that way, it's a little frightening that a mind-altering drug which is statistically notable as a cause of death is something we perpetuate as important to share, even more so than our child's funny hairdo in the morning or a book we read or a new place we discovered. We're literally shaping the social digital world with every post, which then in turn influence the real world - why not direct it somewhere positive and original?

Alcohol certainly has it's place, for better (fun, honest socializing) and for worse (loss of control, bodily damage), so perhaps in pic-posting as well as drinking, moderation is required :)

suzy said...

Social media is really the culprit here.
Before it came along nobody had a clue Jan liked a martini or three before dinner.
Now everybody knows.

Can we also introduce 365 days of no selfies. That I am over.

I agree with you Lex. Everything. Everything in moderation. I personally would prefer to celebrate any special occasion by cracking two cushions together from Ikea or clinking cupcakes! But then I would (on picture value alone) be accused of being a spendthrift or a fatty.

Sometimes a picture is just a picture and sometimes people do need to go to Betty Ford and sometimes people need to get off social media and go for a walk.

rachael @ mogantosh said...

Thought-provoking Lexi. I think it is true that the 'wine o'clock' kind of gag has become a part of the lexicon that means 'I had a stressful day' - especially it seems, for Mums. It's a way Mums connect - that was a tough one, I hear you sister, pour me one too! The intention is to connect and be understood, and alcohol has become the shorthand for that - and you are right, it sends a teriible, and I think unnecessary, message to kids.

Nikki @ Styling You said...

Guilty ... but only on a weekend or special occasion :)

ecobabe said...

I don't know if FebBasters are making a solid commitment to change, but at least they are looking at their behaviour. Having done Dry July and OcSober myself I'm much more aware of my drinking habits.

kellie montgomery said...

Good on you for naming yourself (and I don't mean that to sound in the least sarcastic) Lady Moss. I have a strong gut reaction to "anonymous" commenters - having been on the receiving end of a few mean-spirited ones, but I really found this an extremely thought-provoking post, and it brought up concerns I have about my own behaviour. I admire Lexi for voicing a strong opinion - I feel so often bloggers feel compelled to toe a very moderate line for fear of backlash. But reading back on all this, now - I think you guys are just two women expressing an opinion, and if you think Lexi is being judgemental then you most certainly are, too. (And now, it would seem, here I am judging as well!) Kellie xx