We document much of our lives on Instagram these days. The platform is like a diary, except instead of being private, the whole point is to document every part of your life in the most public way—including what we drink, when and where. A social media data insights company took New York’s collective drinking diary and made it public in the most telling way: a 24 hour consumption heat map.
Crimson Hexagon, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze social media, gathered food and drink Instagram posts from across New York City from May 6 to May 12 using a set of hashtags. Those photos were turned into data points and put on an interactive map that covers the five boroughs. When a ‘gram went up, it was represented by an emoji of what type of food or drink was posted and where. Click on that emoji and you get to see the exact photo that was posted. Creepy? Yes, but Big Brother is the only person you can count on to always look at your bad drinkstagrams.
The map allows users to narrow down what they want to see and where. It becomes immediately clear that for some people (the type who toss drink pics on Instagram), New York is both the city that never sleeps and the city that always drinks. Alcohol really starts to flow in Manhattan starting around 11 a.m. and doesn’t slow back down until around 2 a.m. Bars in the city close at 4 a.m., but the drinking doesn’t. Scroll around on the map and you’ll see new pockets of late-late night drinkers come up every few minutes.
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Crimson Hexagon’s map of over consumption isn’t perfect. These are only the drinks that are put on Instagram, and the majority of people don’t post every drink that they have. Others do post, but don’t use the hashtags that Crimson Hexagon used to collect the photos. Which means there’s likely even more drinking going on around the Big Apple. There’s a chance that each of those posts represents a huge chunk of other people sharing their drinks only with their immediate company.
You can see the map for yourself and judge New Yorkers on the Crimson Hexagon website.