One thing I have never been called is a fuddy-duddy. A party pooper. In general I don’t rain on people’s parades. But a recent phenomenon irks me a little. And at the risk of looking like a goody two-shoes I want to bring attention to something that I just don’t understand.
Lately, my Facebook feed has been overrun with pictures of glasses and bottles. Someone is letting me know they are enjoying a beverage. How nice of them. Interestingly, the beverages are almost never iced tea. Or freezing cold milk. Or kool-aid. No. It is usually alcohol of some sort. My question is why?
Why do so many people feel the need to advertise they are drinking alcohol?
Now, understand, this is not an “anti-alcohol” post. But since most of the people on my Facebook feed are Christians, I can’t help but wonder why the need to show the world what they are drinking?
Now let me confess: I do not drink. Personal choice. But I also don’t post pictures of whatever beverage I happen to be consuming. So, I really am at a loss. All I have are theories, so let me toss out a few.
1. Some people just take pictures of anything and put them on Facebook. We all know these people. There is the kite you made with your kids. Look, a sunset. Hey, you took a picture of a stray cat and you wanted me to see it. This would account for a few people’s beverage photos, but it still leaves many more.
2. Some believe this makes us relevant. There is no bigger slam for church people right now than being labeled “irrelevant.” We want the world around us to know we get it, that we are in the same boat. I think some Christians believe that drinking alcohol makes them appear more accessible to the non-Christians around them. I’m not sure if that is correct (my suspicion is it makes almost no difference) but perhaps those posting photos of margaritas are attempting to reach out.
3. Some want to show that they aren’t controlled by the old rules. Many of us grew up in very conservative churches where drinking alcohol was sinful. As we have matured we have come to see the complete prohibition of alcohol as another sign of the “backwardness” of our predecessors. We see Jesus drinking wine. We are more liberal, more free. More graceful. And having a beer (and posting it online) is a symbol of our growth, our freedom.
4. Some have bought the cultural idea that alcohol is necessary. This one scares me. Several times lately I have read posts declaring something like, “that glass of wine at the end of this day can’t come soon enough.” Now, perhaps that is just blowing off steam. Maybe it is just mimicking what we see and hear in our alcohol saturated culture. Or perhaps it is the beginning of dependence. Not dependence in the addictive sense (although we all know that is a possibility). But rather dependence on alcohol as some type of source of meaning or comfort.
5. Alcohol symbolizes the “good life.” We are relaxed. We mountain bike and hunt and snowboard. We have a ton of friends that we meet for coffee in the morning and drinks in the evening. A pitcher of sangria shows that life is good. But is any of that truly reflective of what Jesus meant by “life?”
Now, I am probably completely wrong. And I am sure I will be informed kindly if I am. But I am not yelling “SIN!”. Nor am I calling for tee-totaling. I am simply asking us to look at our motivations. To think “why am I putting a snapshot of a mojito on my Instagram account?” “Am I posting this because I want to look cool?” I just wonder why the need to show our adult beverage to the world? What are we trying to say? And is it worth saying?