If you’ve spent any time online, you’ve seen several memes about drinking. Although they are meant to be funny and lighthearted, they ring heavy with truth. I’ve noticed an interesting dichotomy in the memes posted by women and men. Whereas as women typically post alcohol related-memes that focus on escaping from family responsibilities, men typically post memes about escaping from work responsibilities. I’ve selected a few of the more popular memes that I’ve seen men post to Facebook and Twitter.
If someone were unfamiliar with the internet and saw these memes, they may be very concerned about the people who posted them. Out of context, these memes convey messages of depression, anxiety, unfulfillment, and even hints of anger. As adults, we expect that most people will be in on the joke. Work is tough and I need a drink. But there is a whole section of the population that won’t fully understand the nuance of these jokes and it’s our children.
My 14-year old daughter has a pretty sophisticated sense of humor. In fact, she has even made her own memes that poke fun of her mother and me.
I asked her what she would think of me if she saw that I had posted several alcohol-related memes online.
“I’d think you were an alcoholic,” she said. “And I’d search your office to see if you had any liquor hidden in there.” When I asked her if she thought these were funny, she said, “Not really.”
We spend a lot of time monitoring our children’s online behavior. But we sometimes forget that they are also monitoring our behavior. My daughter has had social media accounts for two years now. The first thing she does when she signs up is follow me and scroll through my posts. Many of her friends also follow my social media accounts so I have added pressure to be very careful about what I post online because I don’t want to send then the wrong message about alcohol or any other topic.
There is nothing wrong with sharing funny memes online. It’s an accepted part of internet culture and we all need a laugh sometimes. But as parents, we have to pay attention to how our online behavior influences our children. Watch this video from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility to get a better idea of how our kids view our online lives.