Maybe it’s time to get help.
I feel like I am still young and hip enough to party — so to speak — with the cool kids. I am old and wise enough to know what I am OK sharing with the rest of the public and not caring who may choose to judge me for it. I also know what's best left unshared, because the rest of the world doesn't necessarily need to know THAT joke amuses me.
I have experienced enough in this little life of mine to know that I made some really awful choices along the way, so I sometimes have to check myself before I spiral too deep into the rabbit hole of concerns creeping across my mind when I see what some of the users I like to follow most share, and share quite often.
In particular, it has started to concern me that so much of my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds glorify reckless drinking. (I'm totally baffled by how to use Snapchat, but I assume it happens there too).
Back in my 20s, especially during college, I got drunk A LOT.
It was tons of fun and I was (almost) always smart about it. Somehow I managed to scrape by without ever being violated or getting injured in a drunken haze.
Drinking was just something we did. It was good times.
During graduate school I dated a guy for two years who didn't drink at all, just because he didn't. So I didn't drink much because it just wasn't part of the picture. And that was good times too.
Then when I was 40 I met and fell in love with someone who told me he was an alcoholic who had been sober for five years. I'm not one to judge, and I thought his sobriety was an impressive sign of resolve and strength.
Except it turned out those five years had only actually been about two months, which I learned when he relapsed and I got to see what drunk Mr. Right was like. And whoa.
It was scary, upsetting, infuriating ... and, most of all, tragic to watch the wonderful man I knew and loved transform into an angry, seething monster out of what seemed like nowhere.
So when I see these posts on constant cycle online, I find myself worrying about the message our society is unconsciously taking beyond the occasional joke between friends, and transforming somehow into a cultural glorification of drinking as glamorous.
And not just drinking as glamorous in a Mad Men sort of way.
Drinking until you are fall-down-shit-faced-in-public-bathrooms-puking-your-guts-out-and-losing-all-memory-of-your-actions as glamorous.
Honey, glamorous that shit is NOT.
Now news has broken about the truth behind the ultra-popular Instagram account of Louise Delage, who arrived on Instagram this past summer and quickly amassed over 50,000 likes for her casual Parisian chic ways.
Watch (and like) Louise as she elegantly sips drinks aboard a yacht!
Watch (and like) Louise as she parties til the break of dawn!
Watch (and like) Louise as she sits in bed cradling a hangover!
Wait ... what?
Turns out, Louise's Instagram account was not hers at all ...
... but was created by an organization call Addict Aide, which "provides resources for people who are worried about their own alcohol consumption, or that of someone close to them."
According to a spokesperson for the ad agency behind the campaign:
"We were briefed on the difficulty of detecting the addiction of someone close to you — a friend, a child or a parent ... We thought an interesting way of showing it would be to create a person people would meet every day but whom we'd never suspect of being an addict, by setting up a fake Instagram account ... We hoped for more followers to take notice of Louise's behavior ... There were a few people who sensed the trap — a journalist among others, of course — but in the end, the majority just saw a pretty young girl of her time and not at all a kind of lonely girl, who is actually not at all that happy and with a serious alcohol problem."
I'm not suggesting that anyone be held accountable for their friends' social media accounts, nor am I attempting to shame anyone who enjoys their cocktails.
I get that the "me last night/right now/this morning" memes and gifs can be funny.
I am suggesting that those of lucky enough to not to be fighting an alcohol or substance addiction should never take our own sobriety for granted, and these jokes have their limits, as they creep across the line into a societal obsession.
And then there's the hypocrisy.
Want to remind women that while getting drunk to the point of unconsciousness is NEVER an invitation to non-consensual sexual activity, it also isn't a wise choice as far as personal safety?
Maybe we shouldn't also remind them how cool and funny we think they are when they do.
Want to avoid alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, and a multitude of other negative potential consequences that may come from excessive drinking?
Let's stop telling anyone how hot they are as they slam down another ... and another.
Everything in moderation is a cliché for a reason. Even with humor, it's still true.