HOW DEEP IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL MEDIA AND ALCOHOLISM?

Social media is so intertwined with young people’s lives, to the point where many worry about teens becoming addicted to technology. While there has been a lot in the news about teens becoming addicted to video games and Instagram, there is also the question of how social media can affect someone’s addiction to alcohol and drugs.

Examining Addiction Through Social Media

As Bustle reports, one organization has taken a look at how social media could influence alcoholism. Over a thousand people between the ages of 18 and 75 were surveyed, a little over half of the men, a little under half women, and a small percentage of people surveyed did not identify themselves.

The main question this survey asked is how does social media affect their day drinking? How did they feel when they saw people on social media drinking during the day? As this report states, 45.1% of the people in this poll said that social media indeed influenced their drinking during the day, and when they saw people drinking during the day, they felt “left out.”

One of the problems that perpetuate depression with social media, it’s called “compare and despair,” where you see photographs of other people’s lives, and you feel they’re living a better life than you are. And many of us can recall seeing alcohol commercials that made drinking look like great fun, without showing the horrible consequences of alcoholism. One of the most significant problems with social media is that it doesn’t show a complete picture of life.

The Stats

As this report continues, 37.1% of people polled said “I feel like I should be drinking,” and 16.5% said, “I feel both left out and like I should be drinking.”

According to this report, Instagram is the most popular social media site where people share their day drinking pictures. The largest age group for sharing day drinking pictures on Instagram is 18 to 24 at 38.69%, with the runner-up age group being between the ages of 25 and 35 at 36.13%. These figures shouldn’t be unexpected, considering younger people are more into Instagram and similar social media sites.

Should Day Drinking on Social Media Be a Concern?

So is this trend any cause for concern? Should addiction experts pay attention to this trend? Can Instagram postings be an excellent way to monitor day drinking in people from the ages of 18 to 35? Or is posting a picture of yourself having a drink during the day no big deal?

“For people who don’t have a complicated relationship with alcohol – maybe it doesn’t [matter],” this report says. “But it’s important to recognize where our influences and our behaviors come from. Social media already influences so much of our life, and it makes sense that it would influence our drinking habits, too. So be aware when you’re consuming social media of what it might be telling you, even if it’s not obvious at first.”