Since the advent of Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools, many teenagers and adults spend considerable amounts of time using these outlets to self-report on their whereabouts, beliefs and behaviors. In a substantial number of instances, these self-reports include statements about potentially damaging patterns of alcohol consumption. In a study published in May 2014 in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers from several U.S. universities assessed the connection between alcohol-related statements on Facebook and real-world drinking behaviors in a group of college-age adults. These researchers also explored the underlying motivations for alcohol consumption among young adults who post on Facebook.
At least 50 percent of all students enrolled in a U.S. college or university participate in binge drinking or some other form of seriously risky alcohol consumption. As a rule, drinking is so common in college environments because the social norms established by students make alcohol intake an acceptable activity. In a study published in December 2013 in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, researchers from the University of Washington sought to determine exactly which types of social relationships have the strongest impact on producing pro-drinking norms among college students.
When parents send their child off to college they may worry about their ability to handle academic challenges, newfound independence and responsibility, as well as if alcohol and drugs might tempt them into dangerous behaviors. But they might not have thought to worry about cyberbullying.
The Internet has become the hub of life for today’s teenagers. Central to both academic and social life, teens can log in to do anything from viewing a syllabus to making weekend plans.
Facebook is a great tool to use to stay connected and promote your business, but should it be used to lure a target market not yet old enough to purchase a product? According to researchers, this is what is happening as alcohol companies leverage the social media platform to nurture a new generation of drinkers.
Sixteen-year-old Katie got an unexpected phone call from her boyfriend (they usually text). He wanted to break up, at least until the end of the school year, he told her, so he could “focus on sports.” As soon as Katie tearfully said goodbye, she already had a barrage of texts coming in. Her boyfriend, now ex, had already changed his status on Facebook from “in a relationship” to “single” with a few comments about fun times ahead in the single life and cyber high-fives from buddies. Katie didn’t have time to react before she was receiving Facebook messages, comments to her wall, and Twitter comments and direct messages asking about the break-up – one she had no idea was even coming. Everyone seemed to know about her boyfriend’s decision before she did – people online she didn’t even know – making her breakup all the more humiliating.
College is often the first experience many youth have with heavy drinking, or binge drinking. Binge drinking-related deaths are an unfortunate part of life on college campuses or in college towns.
According to a news article, scientists worry about the problems students’ online posts on Facebook are causing. The students’ alcohol habits and problems caused by it are now available for all to see on their profile pages. This raises concern about the impact of the “alcohol identity” of others viewing their pictures and status updates.
Many students don’t even remember life before Facebook, Twitter, cell phones or the Internet. What used to be a privilege has now become a given. However, there are repercussions to being in constant social networking modes and many are unaware of the significant health problems that can occur such as FTAD or Facebook/Twitter Addiction Disorder.
A new study has found an association between Facebook and alcohol-college-aged males who mention alcohol on the social networking site tend to have more Facebook friends. The recent study, to be published in the American Journal of Men’s Health, found that 85 percent of the profiles of male undergraduates contained at least one reference to alcohol.