Ocsober has come to an end and whether you are part of the movement that went the alcohol-free route, the camp that started or the camp that never joined, you have interacted with the hashtag or heard about it.
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There’s something to be said about communal challenges like 30-day challenges, exercise-focused challenges and every other kind you can imagine. When we set ourselves a challenge, we naturally feel motivated and this converts into energy that lifts our spirits. The anticipation of the sense of achievement you’ll feel once you get to the end is almost intoxicating. But the question is: what influences a person’s decision to partake in any challenge? Let’s talk Ocsober for a bit. Why is it so important and how did it become so popular?
The Ocsober movement started in Australia as a national fundraising initiative by Life Education to reduce drug and alcohol related harm in young people. Donations raised through Ocsober help to provide vital education Aussie kids need to make good choices about their health, relationships, alcohol and drugs. Because alcohol and its abuse is a common issue in many societies around the world, Ocsober spread like a wild fire, given even more room to grow and spread with the help of social media.
According to reports released by Stats SA in 2016, 6 out of 10 drivers that die in accidents have dangerously high alcohol levels in their blood. A shocking 3000 adult pedestrians are killed in motor accidents per year. 70% of them are drunk when killed.
South Africa has been noted as the country worst affected by drunk driving in the world. South Africans have jumped on the Ocsober bandwagon for a variety of reasons including taking a break before Dezemba, wanting to shed unwanted weight and standing in solidarity with those who’ve lost loved ones due to driving under the influence and alcohol fuelled crimes. Even though the reasons vary from vanity to FOMO and many things in between, it is important to note that Ocsober is one of the growing hashtags that aims to do good with the help of a global virtual community.
As campaigns such as the Aware.org’s University Tour continue to show young people that alcohol abuse is a real concern, hashtags like Ocsober will continue to have life breathed into them. Hopefully beyond one month. As we say goodbye to a hashtag with a real purpose and get into silly season, the message and impact of Ocsober hopefully continues. After all, it’s not just a hashtag.
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