group drinking
Credit score: Unsplash/CC0 Public Area

Many younger individuals frequently publish pictures of themselves with a glass of beer or wine of their hand. However such “alcohol posts” may result in extra kids ingesting alcohol. In a brand new research, communications scientist Hanneke Hendriks requested college students for his or her concepts on potential options.

In keeping with Hendriks, many younger individuals publish posts by which alcohol performs a task. “They are saying that alcohol is depicted unintentionally and they don’t see it as an issue. Solely 17% of the respondents discovered such posts problematic. However once we then instructed them that such posts may result in larger alcohol consumption amongst their friends, they typically modified their minds.”

For his or her research revealed within the Worldwide Journal of Environmental Analysis and Public Well being, Hendriks and her fellow researchers interviewed near 300 younger individuals aged between 16 and 28, together with faculty pupils and college students of assorted academic ranges. “The younger individuals have been discovered to be specifically want of warnings about alcohol posts on social media. They typically scroll and publish on auto-pilot, they usually wish to be pulled away from this,” says Hendriks.

Alcohol posts

Round 60% of younger individuals publish pictures that includes alcohol from time to time. These pictures typically conjure constructive associations with ingesting. They’re ceaselessly taken at events or dinner events and depict a bunch of younger individuals standing or sitting along with glasses of alcohol of their fingers or on the desk. On Instagram, some posts additionally function close-ups of cocktails, as an illustration.

In Hendrik’s earlier analysis, it appeared that younger individuals who seen such pictures have been extra inclined to drink extra. A transparent causal hyperlink was proven: if younger individuals noticed an “alcohol publish” on a Friday, they have been extra more likely to drink on Saturday—and in addition to drink greater than they might have in any other case.


On this follow-up research, the researchers interviewed these younger individuals. Via questionnaires and focus teams, the kids indicated which interventions most appealed to them. Hendriks says, “They didn’t suppose that awareness-raising campaigns would work very nicely. However they did advocate for automated warnings. Machine studying may acknowledge and subject warnings about alcohol featured in posts, as an illustration: ‘This publish options content material about alcohol,’ or ‘Are you certain that you just’d wish to publish a publish that includes alcohol?’ On this means, they might suppose extra rigorously about their social media habits.”

Along with warnings on social media itself, younger individuals would additionally wish to be reminded about how their posts may come throughout to future employers. “Then they might be much less tempted to publish pictures of themselves ingesting, in worry of gaining a foul fame.”

An automated warning appears promising, but it surely additionally has snags, in keeping with Hendriks. “Then Fb and Instagram must implement such warnings. You possibly can develop a browser plug-in for this, however younger individuals must set up it themselves. The query is whether or not they would try this. Another choice is to provide coaching classes at faculties, just like those already being held on media literacy; alcohol posts may very well be included in these. In the end, we hope that younger individuals grow to be extra conscious of the attainable penalties of their posting habits.”

Extra info:
Hanneke Hendriks et al, Coping with Alcohol-Associated Posts on Social Media: Utilizing a Combined-Methodology Strategy to Perceive Younger Peoples’ Drawback Consciousness and Evaluations of Intervention Concepts, Worldwide Journal of Environmental Analysis and Public Well being (2023). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20105820

Offered by
Radboud College

New research warns of damaging results of ‘alcohol posts’ on social media (2023, Might 25)
retrieved 25 Might 2023

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