The Rise of #SoberCurious - Social Studies
The Rise of #SoberCurious

The Rise of #SoberCurious

Whether or not you believe in the transformative potential of the New Year, January is undeniably a time for resolution-making or breaking? Some earnestly vow to make lasting changes to their lifestyle; others opt for temporary resets for a finite period of time.

In the latter camp are participants of “Dry January,” a movement to abstain from alcohol for the first month of the year. Its hashtag-ready name — #dryjanuary or #dryuary — makes it a social media-friendly venture: In 2018, #dryjanuary has gained the attention of Influencers like British model @emmalouiseconnolly , while producing posts from industry-leading brands like @mrporterlive . Further, our data notes that from January 1st to the 7th of 2019 alone, the #dryjanuary hashtag had been used over 230 times by Instagram accounts with a following of 1k or more.

It’s trending, but is it a trend?

The reality is, resolutions aren’t exactly trend-worthy; they’re ubiquitous aspects of popular culture. Furthermore, the ephemeral nature and all-or-nothing parameters of #dryjanuary make it difficult to track as either an enduring or evolving movement. Yet self-elected alcohol abstinence is on the rise, manifested in a smaller, albeit growing movement: #sobercurious.


Founded by Ruby Warrington, who recently released a book on the subject — Sober Curious — the #sobercurious proposition is this: Life is more interesting, enriching and enjoyable sober. What’s more, devotees don’t necessarily need to have a “problem” and/or an addiction to alcohol to participate, as #sobercurious is not an organized rehab program. Instead, #sobercurious followers are united in the pursuit of the enticing benefits of sober living, such as enhanced energy, greater mental clarity and reduced anxiety. In this sense, it’s a natural articulation of holistic health.

Our data reveals that Influencers using the #sobercurious hashtag saw on average a 247% increase in comments and a 129% increase in likes.

Although connected to the mainstream wellness movement, #sobercurious is still niche, albeit gaining traction; it’s garnered more than 4,000 mentions to date. Further, our data reveals that Influencers using the #sobercurious hashtag saw on average a 247% increase in comments and a 129% increase in likes versus their benchmark metrics, underscoring strong follower engagement.

Hold your beer and keep an eye on this one — based on our calculations #sobercurious has some staying power.


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