February 25, 2020

Sober Influencers Are Trending on Instagram

“In April 2013, Austin Cooper followed his boss into what he thought was a work meeting at their engineering firm. Instead, the now 31-year-old Ohio native was met by his family, who were staging an intervention. “It was the scariest moment of my life,” he says now. “But in hindsight, it was the greatest moment in my life.”

In rehab, Cooper realized he had to give up drugs and alcohol, and that his life was going to change dramatically — as was his social circle. “One of the most important things I learned while I was in treatment was to associate myself with people who were living the kind of life that I wanted to live,” he says. That meant cutting out certain individuals — in real life, and on Instagram. Cooper says he unfollowed toxic people and started seeking out and following those who were sharing their positive lifestyles. “It was just interesting to see people having fun in their sobriety,” he says. “And it’s like, ‘Okay, if they’re doing it, I can learn to do it too.’”

Cooper soon decided he wanted to share his own sobriety on the platform. He began reading personal development books and posting quotes he found powerful. From the simple act of quote-gramming, Cooper’s Sober Evolution account gained a following that now numbers over 57,000. His Sober Evolution website has also become a popular online resource. “People would tag their friends who were also in recovery, or they would share an image and my story. Pretty much off the bat, it exploded,” he says.”

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