new study tries to pin social networks like Facebook as the reason why
kids are drinking, smoking, and doing drugs like marijuana. We don't see
If you’ve been smoking marijuana like a cigarette lately, you might
want to cut back on your Facebook time. The National Center on Addiction
and Substances Abuse at Columbia has released a study indicating that
the more time teenagers spend social networking on sites like Facebook
and Google+, the more likely they are to drink, smoke, and use drugs.
According to IB Times,
roughly 70 percent of the 1,037 teenagers studied spent time on
Facebook, Myspace (seriously?), and other social networking sites. These
70 percent were more likely to use tobacco, three times more likely to
drink alcohol, and twice as likely to use marijuana.
"The results are profoundly troubling … the anything goes,
free-for-all world of Internet expression, suggestive television
programing and what-the-hell attitudes put teens at sharply increased
risk of substance abuse,” said CASA Founder and Chairman Joseph Califano
While the study’s authors seem to try to be linking social networking
to these bad habits, we don’t really see much of a connection. Teens
have been doing a lot of smoking, drinking, and drugging far before
social networking came about in 2004(ish). What this really tells us is
that 70 percent of teens tend to be social and hang out more.
Unfortunately, socializing when you’re a teen means you’re more likely
to bow to peer pressure and engage in these types of drug-related
activities. The 30 percent who stay off social networks most likely
don’t hang out and socialize nearly as much as their Facebooking peers,
meaning no, they probably don’t smoke, drink, or do many drugs. Facebook
and social networks don’t appear to be related much at all, except for
the fact that people do some of their socializing on the Internet now.
Have drug usage rates for these drugs gone up with the increase in
social networking in the last seven years? That’s a more interesting
question. Or, does Facebook addiction correlate with addiction to other
drugs? One study suggests it might be more addictive than either.
The good news is that parents aren’t buying it. The study found that 9
out of 10 parents don’t believe social networking causes drinking and