In the two weeks that I’ve been in Los Angeles I’ve had numerous conversations with other young people on the topic of alcohol – specifically, how we aren’t drinking that much of it. Millennials in the City of Angels are increasingly turning to now-legal cannabis on nights out – fewer calories and less chance of a hangover, apparently.
But the general notion of laying off booze extends to other cities. I’ve had similar conversations with countless peers in London who won’t stay for another round because they’ve got yoga the next morning. In San Francisco youngsters talk about smashing “sleep scores” (through their monitoring apps) rather than pints. Beer companies across the globe are reporting slumping sales. Could this be because the cool kids are hitting the juice bar instead of the pub?
Every decade or so, newspapers report that the new generation are sobering up. It’s cyclical but this latest wave of sobriety could have staying power. Why? Because it’s not a fad: it’s intrinsically connected with modern lifestyles. Boutique gyms, meditation apps, smoothie bars and athleisure have gone mainstream and many people now seem to believe that being a paragon of health – rather than a rockstar – is the ultimate goal.
While I’m guilty of falling into this trap (I do love an overpriced gym class), it’s time to redress the balance. There’s something about a night out – the spontaneity and the temporary loss of inhibitions and pent-up righteousness – that we still need, even if we are queueing up for wheatgrass shots the next morning. I’ll see you on the dance floor.