What Facebook Thinks about Alcohol

Written by on January 22, 2013 in General - No comments

As a former drinker, I find it easy to forget what life was like with alcohol. Fortunately, Facebook is always around to help me remember.

Nearly 5 million Facebook users have given a  like to the concept of drinking, which suggests a fair degree of enthusiasm, especially given that only 1/4 million are fans of breathing.

Facebook on Alcoholism

I’d always thought that alcoholism was a major global problem, but in fact according to Facebook, a lot of people are simply being misdiagnosed.

The most popular of several pages for Alcoholics Anonymous has 80,000 users, but twice that number – around 160,000 people – assert that they can’t be alcoholics, because an alcoholic goes to a meeting whereas they just go to the pub. We really ought to examine this theory as it would certainly make diagnosis a lot quicker.

The good news is that this lack of alcoholism is endemic. An awful lot of people who have apparently been called alcoholics are no such thing – they’re just from GermanyPoland, Scotland, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Australia, Serbia, India, Buffalo, Quincy etc etc…

Other misdiagnosed alcoholics include young farmers, erasmus students, binge drinkers, people keeping their liver in a job and, as you probably already knew, those who only drink when Richie McCaw is offside. No, I don’t know who, either. And then there are those who are actually just engaged in the hobby of collecting bottles.

Richie McCraw

Facebook on Drunkenness

For a lot of people, the aim is drunkenness, a project which clearly has a high degree of success. Nerdy types appear to be disproportionately involved in this activity given there are not only drunken gamers but also drunken geeks and even drunken Star Wars characters. The Mos Eisley Cantina never did look like a good place to ask for a ginger beer.

Apparently, British users of Facebook are drunk in 76% of their photos. Though it is worth noting that the researchers arrived at this figure by asking people, rather than at looking at their photos. Which could well be tapping into the same vein as asking people how many beers they can put away.

People are taking drunken walks home, sending drunken texts, and just generally saying all sorts of crazy stuff. Meanwhile, over 40,000 people are, very specifically, drinking too much and making an idiot of themselves but luckily not remembering enough of it to be quite as embarrassed as they should be.

Facebook on the Health Implications

But it’s not like people aren’t aware of the consequences to their body of all this consumption – they’re very aware. They’re also very grateful.

In particular they’re grateful to their liver, which is a champ and one hell of a trooper, although they may just buttering it up knowing that there’s more on the horizon.

The liver has a message of it’s own – stop the torture. But whilst some are contrite in their feelings, making it clear that they’re soo sorry, and asking their liver to please forgive them, others think it should just filter the alcohol out and keep quiet. Alcohol itself, meanwhile, takes time out from all that intoxicating of people to reassure the liver that it really is nothing personal.

liver

However, judging from a lack of similar attention to other internal organs, it would appear that practically no-one gives an earthly toss about their pancreas.

Facebook on Sobriety

A surprisingly high 150,000 people make a point of noting they don’t drink. Exactly how you define yourself is clearly important, though: only 2,500 people are into teetotalism whereas 130,000 are the much cooler-sounding sub-culture of being Straight Edge.

The problem is that (for some people at least) life is just so much more boring when sober. Thankfully, being sober is only as dull as you make it. It’s just a shame that this makes it sound like that’s the objective.

What does Facebook say to you about alcohol? What are you if you’re not an alcoholic? What kinds of conversations do you have with your liver? And if you don’t drink, just how dull have you succeeded in making it?

About the Author

Neil Bennion stopped drinking alcohol for health reasons back in 2006. He's been ridiculed all over the world for his lifestyle choice, but he must like it because he keeps coming back - or rather, going away - for more. Neil is a freelance travel writer who blogs about productivity on the road at Wandering Desk. Note that Neil is not a health professional (thank goodness) so the traditional disclaimer about everything being your own fault applies.

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