You’ve probably all seen the Facebook updates about how bad someone’s hangover is. “Last night must have been epic,” “Thank you to the kind man that put me into a cab last night, I was completely smashed” and the old “I’m never drinking again”. Typically followed by a handful of likes and comments, maybe even a picture of you in your sorry state as a reply. Nice. Of course, much the same happens over Twitter, but most people have the sense to know this is actually going out to the entire world.
You may be one of these people – we’re certainly not judging you. Some people are regular offenders, others save it for the really bad ones – they’re sure to make more impact if they only do it once in a while! We’re interested in what makes some of us compelled to share everything about our hangover on social media.
We’ve identified a number of factors involved and certain aspects of human psychology are some of the driving forces.
1. The sympathy vote – everyone loves some attention and if you’re not pregnant or recently engaged, you’re fighting a losing battle on the attention front. If you’re in a dead-end job, have a stable relationship and only holiday in the UK, you’ve got to find something from somewhere. Hell, you might not even have a hangover – feigning it over social media is much easier than in real life. Throw in a few spelling and grammar mistakes, only reply every 10 – 15 mins to things, mention ‘headache’, ‘crap TV’ and ‘hangover food’ and you’ll fool even the most scrutinous of Facebook stalkers.
If you get hit with a “I didn’t think you were that drunk” from a friend you were out with, simply reply with a “how would you know? You were completely gone”. This shifts the focus from you to your friend and discreetly gives them some online validity of their alcoholic tendencies too. You’ll inevitably get a “haha, yeh, I was” reply. Job done.
2. Indirect bragging – telling everyone how bad you’re feeling is pretty much a very poorly disguised way of telling everyone how much you drank and how wild your night was. You’re not fooling anyone but, hey, it’s far more palatable than having someone list the drinks they supposedly consumed. Please don’t tell me you do that.
3. Actually trying to find a cure – okay, asking Twitter, or at least your Facebook friends how to cure a hangover isn’t probably going to yield the greatest results. Anyone online at this time on a Sunday morning/afternoon is probably in exactly the same state and hasn’t got a clue what’s going on, let alone going to give you a reasonable explanation to this age-old conundrum.
Of course, do any of these things actually make us feel any better? Perhaps if you’re attention deprived and Twitter or Facebook acts as your childhood teddy bear that you can give a squeeze and the world’s problems are halved. Is insecurity about your social standing compelling you tell everyone just how much of mad-head you are on nights out even though your uni days are a distant memory?
Perhaps it’s because social media is a great distraction tool, finding random videos that make us laugh or having a few exchanges with friends passes the time. Of course, no one’s going to give you the sympathy or even send you funny videos if they don’t know you’re drunk, so you’d better get sharing. However, if you are sick and tired of seeing all the updates – next time you’re thinking about posting a fuzzy tweet or update, just think about why you’re doing it and what it’s actually going to achieve!
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