For those struggling with addiction or attempting to remain sober, one trend that has grown in recent years is that of sober influencers. These are people who post on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms discussing their sobriety that are attempting to bring a positive outlook to the world of sober living.
Social media has become an ever-present facet of the modern world. It has increasingly become an influential aspect of our daily lives. How we view ourselves and the world we inhabit can be particularly influenced by what we see on social media. These ideas can reflect many of our thoughts and feelings depending on who we follow. But is this social influencer trend without any consequences or negative repercussions?
What is a “Sober Influencer”?
Sober influencers have grown in popularity, perhaps as an inevitable extension of the influencer movement as a whole. An influencer is someone who uses their social media following to promote a specific idea or way of life. These are individuals who have gained some level of credibility in their specific field, whether it be in health, sports, or any other form of lifestyle or industry. Influencers often make their income by promoting specific brands and products to their audience as a way to influence the purchasing decisions of those who are following them.
Sober influencers are individuals who follow this same formula, only to apply it towards those attempting to abstain from a particular substance. Some sober influencers, such as Austin Cooper, are attempting to make the idea of sobriety “cool” by making it more appealing to a younger generation. Cooper believes drugs and alcohol are often glorified to the detriment of those who consume these forms of media. This makes the concept of shifting attitudes towards sobriety an important trend. This movement may be making a difference, as there appears to be a cultural shift away from alcohol-centric lifestyles.
Positive Effects of Sober Influencers
Although much has been written about the potential hazards that can accompany social media, it’s an undeniable force when it comes to shifting thoughts and behaviors on a mass scale. Changing the public’s attitude towards sobriety by utilizing social media platforms is certainly a positive aspect of sober influencing. Anything which can open a person up to embrace sobriety should be seen as a good thing. Often, individuals who are struggling with a substance abuse disorder lack positive role models who can demonstrate healthy behaviors.
Sober influencers can fill the void for people who may need to see that it’s possible to live a life free from drugs and alcohol. It can be another way a person can receive positive messages about sobriety and make it appealing in their life. Sober influencers can provide a support system for individuals dealing with a substance abuse disorder. Many influencers also offer Facebook groups and ways to receive support from digital peers. Isolation can be a major contributing factor to why a person may decide to continue abusing a substance. Offering an online support system run by a sober influencer could be a potential game-changer for someone who is trying to remain sober.
The Negative Aspects of Sober Influencing
In terms of sober influencers, it is a world not without potential downsides. Much like other social media influencers, sober influencers can provide a distorted view of what sober living will be like. Shifting thoughts and attitudes towards sobriety can be a major benefit to those who are struggling with addiction. The act of glorifying sobriety can give an unrealistic outlook for what to expect from a sober lifestyle. Achieving sobriety can include a great deal of pain and constant struggle. Sober influencers may leave these aspects out of the picture.
Another potential downside of the sober influencer movement is the fact that a large percentage of these individuals are not professionally trained in addiction treatment. The information they provide and the methods they employ are not tested or fact-based. This can be harmful to addicted individuals if they aren’t careful. Therefore, it’s important to always consult with a professional addiction specialist during the recovery process.
Seek Help from a Trusted Source
If you or someone you know is dealing with addiction and requires professional guidance to overcome this situation, contact Ocean Hills Recovery. We have worked directly with clients to assist them on their path to recovery. We provide realistic and sustainable solutions that will last long beyond the treatment center.
Our trusted counselors, doctors, and addiction specialists will help you attain lasting sobriety. Through a holistic and targeted approach, you can begin your new life today. Contact Ocean Hills Recovery today to begin your sobriety journey and achieve the life you deserve.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.