May 29, 2017  Last Update: December 21, 2016, 11:10 pm

Facebook or Shit-Faced Book?

Drunken Pictures are Very Common on Facebook. Do they establish a Social Norm for Teens?

For years, Facebook was the place to brag about your first beer, praise your favorite party drink and post photos of your teenage drinking.

Now we learn teens and preteens who regularly use social networking sites are up to five times more likely to use tobacco, three times more likely to use alcohol, and two times more likely to use marijuana compared to offline peers.  The research was reported by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

Teens and pre-teens active on social networking sites are

  • five times more likely to use tobacco
  • three times more likely to use alcohol
  • two times more likely to use marijuana

than their offline peers.

 

Facebook routinely censors nudity and most grotesque violence from photo albums, but images of underage drinking and drug use remain sprinkled amongst teens’ graduation photos and family portraits.  Does the casual way social networking site Facebook displays smoking, drinking, drunk or passed-out partiers encourage (condone) this behavior?

Teens and preteens are impressed, often the wrong way. Results from CASA’s survey of 1,006 U.S. teens ages 12-17 showed teens actively using social networking sites to be more susceptible to influences encouraging drug, alcohol and tobacco use.

survey of 1,006 U.S. teens showed those using social networking are more susceptible to influences encouraging drug, alcohol and tobacco use.
Facebook

Maybe, in their never-ending quest to ‘fit in’, teens and preteens take what they see on Facebook as a model of normal life… the life they aim for as they ‘grow up’. On Facebook they learn which clothes are cool, which people are cool, and which behaviors are cool. Are they also learning what kind of alcohol to snag from mom’s cabinet and bring to the party?

See our coverage of Social Norming for more on this influence.

  • Check-out more on social norming: Sober Living (On-Campus)
  • CASA study, at Columbia University
  • http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2011/08/26/facebook-teens-drugs-alcohol-social-media.html
  • http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2391738,00.asp#fbid=b7_tQQA7RYn

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