Sober memes are thriving in addiction and sobriety communities despite the popularity of viral drug and alcohol jokes

Business Insider | 5/25/2019 | Ellen Cranley, INSIDER
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Social media is rife with memes about young adult tendencies including over-eating, over-drinking, and obsessing about someone who didn't text back.

Online communities of those struggling with addiction and recovery gather stories of progress and triumph on hashtags and accounts that are often serious and deeply personal.

Addition - Side - Posts - Sobriety - Accounts

In addition to the serious side of posts about sobriety, accounts like @sobergrind on Instagram delight followers with the funny and often unflattering reality of life in recovery.

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Drinking - Cups - Water - Day - Beers

"It's funny how drinking 8 cups of water a day seems impossible but 7 beers and 5 shots in two hours goes down like a fat kid on a seesaw," reads a screenshot of a tweet pictured on Instagram.

Out of context, the post just sounds like a crude punchline to justify binge drinking. But on the Fat Jewish's page, which is 10.4-million followers strong, it struck a relatable note for many, earning more than 400,000 likes.

Memes - Media - Ability - Behaviors - Nuggets

Memes thrive across social media for their ability to recast less-than-ideal everyday behaviors into funny and relatable nuggets that can be shared with friends in two clicks.

Pages that aggregate memes hit the sweet spot for followers who want to laugh and commiserate about struggles with food, love, money, and substance abuse without getting too serious.

Obsessions - Food - Alcohol - Drugs - Threat

But intense obsessions with food, alcohol, and drugs pose a serious threat to social media users dealing with alcoholism and other addictions. Not only do they sometimes glorify substance abuse, but they can serve as triggers for addicts.

Accounts that recycle material that makes light of obsessing over food, alcohol, and romantic partners creates a dangerous echo chamber that can encourage unhealthy behavior, says Alexa Cook, the therapist behind @sobergrind, a meme page that plays on the funny side of the often unflattering reality behind getting sober.

Meme - Pages - People - People

"[Mainstream meme pages are] not helping people, they're keeping people...
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