Social media is turning your kids into drug users and alcoholics, implies the annual survey by The National Center on Substance Abuse and Addiction at Columbia University. How did they reach that conclusion?
The survey questioned 2000 teens and 500 parents. Seventy percent of the teens said they spent time on social media sites every day. Of those teens, 25% admitted to drinking alcohol, and lesser percentages admitted smoking and using marijuana. The survey concluded that the 70% were five times as likely as the 30% who didn't to drink, three times more likely to smoke, and two times more likely to use marijuana.
The immediate question that arises for this author is who are these teens who don't tweet about their day or go on Facebook? They either have extremely strict parents or don't have access to computers or cellphones, or maybe they don't speak English. It's very possible that teens that don't use social media would be less likely to admit to these vices, being less used to sharing their personal lives with others.
The next question is, what about the 3/4 of teens on social media who don't drink, smoke or use marijuana? Do you think that most of your usual crowd of teens haven't done any of these things? Maybe so, but that still is a lot of really good kids using social media. If 25% is 5 times more than the norm, does that mean the norm is less than 5%? And if you flip the statistic, doesn't it sound much more positive to say that 75% of the teens do not use drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol?
The survey claims, according to this article at WebPro News , that the reason these teens are more likely to drink, smoke or use weed is that they see pictures of other kids doing the same things online, often before they are 13 years old, and they figure if those cool kids are getting drunk and passing out, smoking cigarettes, and getting high, then they can do it, too.