Social Media and Alcohol Use: Adverse Impact of Facebook and Twitter on College Students

Social Media and Alcohol Use: Adverse Impact of Facebook and Twitter on College Students

Gulzar H. Shah (Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, USA), Moya L. Alfonso (Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, USA) and Nina Jolani (National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7401-1.ch002
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The use of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) has become an integral part of daily life, particularly for adolescents. The chapter examines the negative impact of social networking sites and how they may expose alcohol-related consumption and behavior to young adults, especially college students. In particular, the focus is on the use of two specific social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, and their association with alcohol use. The review of existing literature reveals that the depiction of alcohol use on social networking sites has a deleterious effect on alcohol use through the creation of positive social norms toward use and abuse. Further, the chapter looks at the Theory of Differential Association to explain the use of SNS as a pivot to increased alcohol use by adolescents and young adults.
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Social Networking Sites And Alcohol Consumption

In recent years, the use of SNSs has become inescapable. As of May 2013, 72 percent of Americans use SNSs, a 5 percent increase from 2012; and amongst young adults ages 18-29, SNS use is 89 percent (Duggan & Brenner, 2013). There are many methods of using these platforms: entertainment, information sharing, socializing, etc. College students use SNS to extensively communicate: given that it allows them to connect and efficiently interact with their peers and instructors. These academic needs may involve sharing information related to group projects, brainstorming on common assignments, and organizing meetings with study groups. Unfortunately, they also allow creation of virtual meeting space to display shared interests relating to drinking behavior (e.g. parties, sporting events, games, etc.). Whilst there are many social networking sites used by young adults; for the focus of this study Facebook and Twitter have been analyzed.

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