Social media amplifies peer pressure

The Facebook effect? Social media exposure increases smoking and drinking among teens. The Independent, September 5, 2013.

An alarming article in the popular press that describes a scholarly article just being published in regard to the effects of Facebook and other social media sites on adolescents’s drinking and smoking use.

We all know that adolescents are prone to serious influence by friends and their behaviors. In prior posts and articles I’ve described how teen males use their influence on girls to post photos of themselves naked via cell phones and how the boys sometimes send the photos viral, thus ruining the girls reputation.

This scholarly article alluded to in the popular press article describes how kids go to parties where alcohol and cigarettes are being consumed and send pics of themselves wasted to their Facebook friends so as to make themselves look very cool.

Via statistical analysis of the experiences and behaviors of about 1500 kids in California, the authors of the scholarly article demonstrate how Facebook magnifies the peer pressure on other kids receiving the pictures to smoke and drink if they want to be considered part of any in crowd.

As one author has said in regard to sexual behavior, the media serves as a super peer. In this instance, the kids sending the pics are using Facebook to serve as a super peer. Even kids who are not prone beforehand to using alcohol are now more likely to use it.