Facebook Is Turning Your Kids Into Drunken Stoners

The social media boogeyman is back, this time with booze and pot

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Facebook Is Turning Your Kids Into Drunken Stoners
[ Social Media]

Consider this a follow-up piece to my previous “warning” that Facebook is turning your children into narcissistic idiots.

With that article, I told you about a psychological study that warned of the effects that social media sites like Facebook can have on young, impressionable kids. That study found that teens who use Facebook often show more narcissistic tendencies as well as signs of antisocial and/or aggressive behaviors. It also concluded that students who checked Facebook during 15-minute “study” periods achieved lower grades.

Is social media to blame or has it just become the convenient scapegoat? Let us know what you think.

In a perplexing find, the study also said that young adults who spend a lot of time on social media sites are better at showing empathy to their online friends.

Now, a new survey is linking social media use to an increase in drug and alcohol use in teens.

The 16th annual “back to school” survey performed by the The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) asked around 2000 teens and 500 parents about their drug and alcohol use as well as their social media use.

Out of the survey population, 70% said that they spend time on a social networking site every day. According to CASA, these teens are much more likely to use tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana than the 30% who reported no social media use.

Specifically, social media users are 5 times more likely to have used tobacco, three times more likely to have used alcohol and 2 times more likely to have used marijuana. The largest percentage is the 26% of social media-using teens who are said to have used alcohol.

As far as the relative amounts of time spent on Facebook, Twitter and others, CASA had this to say:

Our report distinguishes between no time and any time spent on a social networking site in a typical day because our analysis showed no significant difference in substance use among teens spending 1 to 30 minutes, 31 to 90 minutes or more than 90 minutes on a social networking site in a typical day.

Of course with any finding like this, the first question is always an issue of actual causation. Is social media use actually making the kids smoke and drink more? Or are the kids who smoke and drink at a higher rate simply more social media savvy? The CASA report outlines a specific reason that they believe is behind the increase in drug and alcohol use: Influence.

The survey found that 40 percent all participants have seen pictures of peers “drunk, passed out, or doing drugs” on Facebook or other social media sites. Of those teens, 49% saw those pictures at the age of 13 or younger. By the time the kids had reached 15, 90% had seen such an image.

51% of those who spend most days on social media sites have seen the “drunken peer” images. The survey concludes that the teens who have seen the images are three times more likely to have used alcohol and four time more likely to have used marijuana.

Apparently, Facebook is just a modern day enhancement of the “everybody’s doing it” argument for teens.

The questions regarding this survey are the same as those regarding the survey I mentioned earlier. Is Facebook and other social media really to blame? Or does it simply mirror what is already a reality? Are teens that use drugs and alcohol just more likely to use social media?

I’m pretty skeptical of the social media-boogeyman stories. Do you believe in all the reports that say Facebook is having a negative influence on society? Let us know in the comments.

Facebook Is Turning Your Kids Into Drunken Stoners
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  • Stephanie

    I think that Facebook is just the new scapegoat. A decade ago, it was video games, before that movies and TV. People are just looking for something to blame for the fact that some kids aren’t going to say ‘No’ to drugs and alcohol. I have to wonder if there has been an increase in drug and alcohol use in teens since the beginning of Facebook, or is it about the same? I would venture to guess that many of these kids are mimicking what they see at home, not just what they think everybody is doing.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

      Video games haven’t escaped that label yet. Every time there’s a violent incident, god forbid the news finds out one of the people involved played Xbox.

      • http://wishuponamural.com Martha Galan

        I agree, before video games and Facebook there were hudlums long before that!

  • Liberty

    Stephanie, I agree. There is a much larger picture here and facebook is only a small part of a growing problem. The increase in young teens using alcohol and drugs is not because of social media. My bet is it has a lot more to do with a lack of adequate parental guidance, stemming from lack of education, a broken home, joblessness, etc. social media is just another way for teens AND adults to share their drunken escapades.

  • Pierce

    Facebook is definitely a demon. And video games too. And Michael Bay movies. Also, summertime. And the wind in the trees. Let’s not forget the tobacco companies, and the booze merchants, and Myspace, definitely Myspace. And the space program. Whatever happened to the nice wholesome days of the 1990s?

    • http://wishuponamural.com Martha Galan

      We should be holding the tobacco and booze companies accountable for all the ‘nice’ commercials they put out, they make it all look so good.

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  • Jennie Kermode

    In your next newsletter, please include a link for unsubscribing.

  • http://yourbookauthors.com Don

    I think social media is a problem, but I also wonder which came first. Are the kids that do the drugs more likely to use facebook than the kids who don’t. Studies can often be skewed one way or another.

  • http://www.makemoneyteam.com Raymond

    I don’t think social media sites are to blame, human nature is to blame. However social media sites seem to offer a perfect medium for human short-comings to flourish.

  • Richard Alan

    Social media have created a space for pedophiles, thieves and identity theft to flourish. People’s enamor with the sites has created an opportunity for them to escape reality and interact more with “friends” on-line than their own family. There are days I want to throw my wife’s iphone into the lake. She and others I know keep their head buried in facebook for hours on end, ignoring the “real” people around them. Ok, so maybe I am a bore and maybe you are too if your family is spending too much time on social sites but I fear the trend will result in generations who do not know how to carry on a conversation or interact properly with people. The movie “Surrogates” presages an era where technology negates the need to ever leave the house. It may prove to be all too true in the next few decades.
    For kids, parents need to limit on-line and phone interaction with social sites. For adults, well divorce them.

    • http://wishuponamural.com Martha Galan

      On one hand Facebook is a great way to say hello to people who you haven’t seen in a long time. Drop a line and ask how things are going. On the other hand it takes up a lot of time to sit there to say hello. After a horrible argument on facebook with family, I no longer go into it, it sickens me now, and we no longer speak on the phome anymore either. It’s just too easy to say mean things in there.

      • http://read2learn.net Kent Mauresmo

        When my mom bought an Iphone, the same thing happened. Every time I see her, shes face down in her phone chatting with people on Facebook….ALL DAY LONG!

        My sister is the same way. I bet if I go to her house right now, she will be on Facebook in her phone with the TV on in the background….ALL DAY LONG…with her Pajamas on at 3pm. Hah


  • http://cheerfulmadness.wordpress.com Cheerful Madness!!

    I wouldn’t take a study like this seriously… Facebook merely reflects whatever is wrong with society through what their users express there; besides these problems were there before Facebook arrived on the scene.

  • Brain

    Need Some Brain Booster …………

  • http://wishuponamural.com Martha Galan

    I don’t know if it effects kids or not but I do know it’s a scapegoat for adults to throw around insulting remarks where they wouldn’t do that to your face. Could I blame Facebook for destroying my relationships with two sisters and two neices? Facebook was a prime place to unleash horrible thoughts from one we love to another with a blink of an eye. Is it facebooks fault or should we hold ourselves accountable??

  • Denise

    I don’t think this has anything to do with Facebook. Society is interacting through the computer, by text messaging, etc. I heard some people will not even talk to you unless you text message them. The parents need to take more interest in their children instead of having their face buried in the computer. Monkey see, monkey do.

    • http://wishuponamural.com Martha Galan

      I found that emails are just as easy to say things we don’t mean, but yes it is all a scapegoat. We all need to be held accountable.

  • http://sellersaddiction.weebly.com/ Nakia

    Get real! I can’t believe that this blaming game still exsist. I was raised in a paranoid religious enviroment that burned books and the Beatles albums because at that time that’s what was making the kid’s “bad” When are we going to grow up!

  • http://www.NewfoundlandDesigns.com Justin

    I don’t understand why people scapegoat. It really pisses me off. We have homophobes blaming gay marriage for dysfunctional families. We have people blaming violent video games for school shootings. Hell, we even have a small fringe group of anti-theists blaming religion for all of the world’s problems. I’m only 23, but even I know that we need to start taking responsibility for our downfalls instead of blaming them on something else.

  • http://keithneilson.co.uk mandrill

    Good grief, you might as well ask “Do you use your feet for walking around?” and correlate that with the use of various substances.

    Oh Noes! People who walk around on their feet take drugs and drink as well! We should ban walking on your feet!


  • http://www.howtoseegod.org Tommy Hawksblood

    People need to put the blaim where it should be, Oon Gov first, then sick laws. Making the wrong things sound bad or making the right things illigal. Drinking should be outlawed. People should have free rights in the US which they do not.
    Lets put the bliam on something rather then just fixing it. Lets do away with good morals to add sick ones. There will many people trying to stop people from having free rights and speach on facebook. Lets not blaim parants form creating the problems to begin with.Children only reflect much of what they are taught.
    Schooling teaching useless things to children. What did any child learn in school that is important in their later life? Nothing. Just stories that have so little truth. Lets not teach children the truth then blaim them for what they do believe.

    • David H

      Tommy, the word is “blame”, not “blaim”. Google it, Tommy. The word is “illegal”, not “illigal”.

      The word is “blame” again, not “bliam”. “Let’s” not “Lets”. The word is “speech”, not “speach”. I could go on “nitpicking”, but I will have mercy on you at whatever educational level you are uncomfortably resting on at the moment.

      But this is a gem of rationality you have written:

      “Schooling teaching useless things to children. What did any child learn in school that is important in their later life? Nothing. Just stories that have so little truth. Lets not teach children the truth then blaim them for what they do believe.”

      Tommy, you live your credo. You have successfully forgotten most of what any school ever tried to teach you.

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/E-Cig-Central-Electronic-Cigarettes-News-Reviews-Deals/148124315276035?sk=wall Mike G

    This is sort or like saying since I listen to heavy metal, I must be a Satan worshipper…

  • Lew

    Let’s call it anti-social networking. It’ causing a separation of society. Humans are just like every other animal on this planet. They need to be in the presents of others of their species to know how act and feel. Someone sitting alone in the dark and sending messages and saying things they would not have the nerve to say looking someone in the eye. This is anti-social behavior.

    For example. To socialize a dog, it needs to be in the presents of other dogs to know how to act as a dog. You cannot show a dog a picture of a dog and think it’s socialized. Humans are no different.

    If you have something to say, look me in the eye and say it. Don’t send me a message or post on an anti-social networking site.

    • http://read2learn.net Kent Mauresmo

      Thats why I do not have a Facebook and rarely respond to text messages.

      There are so many times that people have texted me something rather important that definitely deserved a phone call.

      People are so ridiculous. I remember one of my friends sent me a text to tell me he was outside my front door. My text was set to 1 beep, so I didnt hear the text so I didnt hear it.

      15 minutes later when I looked at my phone, I had 4 different text from him telling me hes outside, and the text messages were getting more angry. Haha..he’d rather sit outside double parked for 15 mintues than to call me.

      That’s what happens when the only way you know how to communicate is through texting, Facebook, and Twitter. You become socially retarded.

  • David H

    I saw the story and immediately predicted all the defensive numbed brain responses I would find here. The depth of most comments here reflects the the “Facebook Generation”. Most of you idiots commenting here could not carry a thought from one Twitter to the next. YOU, quite evidently, can’t see the forest for the trees because you are the confused Facebook monkeys laming on the most facile, inept fallback responses.

    It is MOST CERTAINLY an issue of “everyone else is doing it”. This is an EPIDEMIC, IDIOTS!

    This phenomenon is most certainly attributable to some things that have changed historically and not for the better.

    First of all, adolescents–pre and post–are highly susceptible to peer pressure. Every behavior, for the most part, comes from this innate need to fit in and be accepted by your peers.

    Combine the prevalence of Facebook users who present this image of themselves as cool, hip, with it, “accepting”, not prudish, not judgmental…and you open the door for anything and everything.

    Booze, dope, various psychedelic drugs, meth, coke, heroin, ecstasy, etc. have been around for a number of generations. But at not previous time were so many “otherwise normal” teenagers using an international medium using graphic pictures and text to PROMOTE the usage of these substances.

    Facebook is the most powerful “one-stop exhibit hall” LIFESTYLE PROMOTER.

    There is no more powerful marketing and selling tool to convince a potential “user” than word of mouth from peers. Not one, not two, but many, many peers.

    And they can all be lying about how wildly they live and what they consume and how much they party….but they post the evidence, picture after picture, album after album of their lifestyles at 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.

    So Facebook is a powerful medium to SHARE, PROMOTE, ENCOURAGE, A STONING, BOOZING CULTURE.

    Facebook has made a profound impact on spreading this culture. Statistically it has been a tool of instigation.

    Don’t give me any of your lame, wimpy, counter arguments.

    • http://gigsandgames.com Martin

      A shame you need to call anyone who doesn’t share your opinion, IDIOTS. So yours is the only view that counts and you are not willing to listen to anyone else’s views. That makes you a typical bully, and no doubt you learned it from your peers on facebook.

      • Guest

        @Martin “..That makes you a typical bully..”, perhaps, perhaps not. It seems sometimes speaking outrageously is an attempt to grab one’s attention to make their point. Shouting over every one else, if you will, to be heard. Rather common, especially nowadays.

        But we all have faults of not being consistent. Consider your accusing David H. of being a bully but then yet, in a sense, you’re bullying Mrs Gail j Gray above (you’re comment below).

        Martin says:
        August 27, 2011 @ 1:33pm
        @Kent Mauresmo.
        I agree with your reply, and just looking at the grammar used in that response, shows that she is moving backwards!

  • http://nanwich.com Nancy W

    Now, isn’t this the same argument that people learn violence from the movies? That’s been going on for decades and is generally pooh-poohed any time it comes up. Of course, it’s a sensitivity issue; the more anyone sees of something, the more acceptable it becomes.

    • http://crazynormaltheclassroomexpose.com/ Lloyd Lofthouse

      In fact, reputable long-term studies of thousand of children watching too much TV have made the connection between watching TV and children being too violent.

  • Dory

    I’d like to see more commentating on responsible parenting. My daughter uses FB and she has been an honor roll student for 5 years – that has not changed. She does not use alcohol nor tobacco. When there have been times she has bordered misusing FB, who was front and center correcting it? I was. Left unsupervised, she may have taken a turn toward less appropriate behavior. FB is what anyone chooses to use it for – that could be good or bad. It is up to parents to actually be parents. If a child is using social media for deviant behavior or to fill social voids, then the parents must be strong enough to stand up to them and say no more. But if they aren’t, then there’s no harm.

  • cb1

    As a parent with 3 kids:14,12,9, I definitely see the effect it’s having on my kids peers. The narcissism definitely. I would say texting is worse.

    Had a casual conversation with a business owner who happened to be in an AT&T store when I was discussing texting with an AT&T employee. He spoke up and joined the conversation and said – he see’s job applicants in interviews that can’t look him in the eye. They’ll do an interview with their heads down as a natural reflex.

    As for facebook – I often wonder about what a grown adult is thinking constantly posting pictures of themselves. But the stranger issues are the college age kids who are spending their lives taking hundreds of pictures at events that they should actually be enjoying. Kids, in my community, mostly just collect facebook friends at their schools – but I don’t see what goes on in other homes.

    Facebook though, has been a gift in that I have used it personally to re-kindle friendships from the town I moved from as a child.

    The beauty of studies is that – if you look hard enough – you can almost always prove your hypothesis right. So I guess I need to tell my kids they need to become drunken stoners.


  • mrhossc

    After reading the comments, it is amazing how they actually enforce what Wolford is talking about.

  • http://crazynormaltheclassroomexpose.com/ Lloyd Lofthouse

    What we have already learned from studies of watching too much TV is that parents must be more involved in their child or children’s lives and turn off the TV, the music, talk radio and limit or totally shut off Internet social media time.

    For example, when I finally bought our daughter a cell phone when she was in high school, I signed up with our cell phone provider to block all text messages so she could only use the phone to call and talk to people and the rule was if she ever went over the allotted minutes of the plan, she would lose the phone for the rest of that year. One time when her phone went off in class and the teacher confiscated it because the ringing disturbed the class, she lost the use of that phone for the rest of that semester. She never forgot to turn if off again when she was in school.

    As for TV, my wife and I decided to leave the TV off during the school week and control what was watched and the number of hours watched as a family on the weekend, which was usually two hours for a movie or documentary selected by the parents and not the child and while our daughter was in K to 12 school, there was only one Internet connection where we could all see what someone else was doing. The rule was she could use the Internet to do research for homework.

    Now that she’s attending Stanford and has joined Facebook, when she is home, we see little of her as she is glued to the Internet but her grades in Stanford were all B’s or better he first year there since she had developed discipline and good study habits without distractions in public schools.

    As a family, we ate dinner together with no TV or radio distractions, which was the house rule

    When parents allow children to spend most of their free time outside of school watching TV or on social networking sites such as Facebook is that parents lose influence in raising their own children and the media becomes the parent.

    Parents must set rules and learn to say no. Families must sit down together and eat home cooked meals without distraction from any source of media so parents talk to children to find out what is going on in their lives. Family values will only return when parents do this.

    When a child has a problem to solve in life, he or she should be coming to parents first instead of getting that information from friends or strangers from Internet social media sites.

    Every family I know of where the parents set these types of limits and rules where family time was family time and all distractions had to be off and/or were limited and children did not have easy access to the Internet without supervision, the children grew up earning a good education, were polite and interested in other people face to face and did not demonstrate the problems we have been seeing from children that do not grow up in these types of old fashioned homes that are now endangered.

  • Rosie Kelch

    agree it’s another way for these impotent news stations that can’s get it up anymore… I mean there “rates”…but same concept… No doubt it may affect a percentage of the population but to say all, is crazy… this type of social media is the new generation’s way of life… We either take it grown with it, or we will always have problems with it…right??? We have sheltered our kids so much that we have caused this… the fear of going out to play, ride a bike to the park, or to play sports… we all did it as kids… My mom did drive and my dad worked all the time… so no taking us anywhere except to grocery store on weekends, and maybe a movie “once” a month… If our kids have all these, so called “Bad Habits” that We as parents forced on them…then we really need to change how we treat our kids in this new social media world, and take some responsibility for God sakes…;-)))

  • http://www.mickisuzanne.com Mickisuzanne

    Really good points. Social media brings out the showboat in people of ALL ages.

    When I first friended offspring of my cousins, I was aghast to see … ok, yeah, questionable behavior. Drunkenness and stonerism across the board, body piercings and extensive tatts in fair haired second cousins of the female persuasion. Being hung over and late for classes, etc.

    They were just bragging to their friends, “nanner nanner, my life is more exciting than yours.” Once in a while I would “like” something that was humorous or positive. That was about it.

    In one case a favorite “threatened” to cross a dangerous river on ice floes. I was glad I saw that one; he would not be the first to die that way. I like to think my caring and panicked response made him change his mind.

    Sometimes nobody listens. On Facebook someone usually does. For some of us, that makes social media a lifeline.

    I’ve noticed an interesting development this year. The cousins are starting to post long hours spent on the job, the high price of filling their tanks and the desire to have their own digs. They’re growing into responsible adults.

    I’m more concerned about those who have grown silent.

  • Kate

    No. These sort of kids would always be doing this sorta stuff, but they have facebook to distract them instead of TV. The nerdy kids are still nerdy…still not doing drugs, still not drinking, etc.

    Until you get a study saying conclusively that drug use rises with facebook use, your statistics are meaningless.

  • Trevor

    Facebook and other social media sites that encourage the gathering of imaginary friends don’t create stoners — they attract them. Any person who dedicates their time to building hordes of imaginary “friends” is a total f***up who does not have the capacity for real relationships and meaningful interaction.

    • http://read2learn.net Kent Mauresmo

      Exactly. I thought I was the only person who thought this. People have 1000 friends on Facebook, but only have 1 friend in real life that will not return there phone calls.

  • http://www.facebook.com Mrs Gail j Gray

    This article is absolutely crap. I have been on facebook a long time and it has not made me go mad or antisocial and I do not get drunk or smoke and take drugs, the person who done this article better do his/her research right, or isnt to much bother that he/she is the one who is antisocial behaviour problems.I have met some nice people on facebook and in particular I have made a best friend and we contact each other and respect each others privacy.

    • http://read2learn.net Kent Mauresmo

      If you need the find best friends, then that is strange behavior..sorry

      • http://gigsandgames.com Martin

        @Kent Mauresmo.
        I agree with your reply, and just looking at the grammar used in that response, shows that she is moving backwards!

  • http://read2learn.net Kent Mauresmo

    I don’t know about those stats, but what I DO KNOW is that social networking sites ironically make young kids socially retarded.

    Chatting on Facebook and Twitter all day is not healthy. If this trend keeps up, people will forget how to talk to one another face to face.

    We are moving backwards. We have went from talking face to face, to talking on the phone, texting, now social networking sites.

    If someone tries to have a text conversation with me, I immediately call them. I’m too busy to to text a conversation for an hour that would only take 5 minutes on the phone.

  • http://gigsandgames.com Martin

    Statisticians are reknowned for making figures say what they want them to. The negative effect of facebook, on youngsters is just the latest thing they are choosing to target.
    It is my belief that these figures just happen to coincide, but where the real problem lies is the dereliction of duty that the kids’ parents exhibit. You will no doubt find a rise in facebook use among kids whose parents who have no control of their children’s actions. If a person decides to abuse alcohol or drugs doesn’t depend on being corrupted by facebook, but on the non-guidance of their parents. If kids are left to their own devices, without any input from parents or guardians, they will follow the lead of their peers, and if their peers use facebook, so will they. In short, don’t blame facebook for the bad parenting that has become prevalent in today’s society.

    • TP

      I am a parent of 3 twenty somethings the youngest being 20.
      I have to agree that bad parenting is a factor in children’s
      and young adult’s bad behavior. But I would not let Facebook
      or Twitter off the hook by any means. Wouldn’t we as a society
      want keep Hustler magazine and High Times magazine out of the hands of our teens,preteens, and young adults? Isn’t this the reason that stores wont sell them to kids under 18? Isn,t this why they cover up these magazines at the store with cardboard?
      Why do Twitter and Facebook get a pass? These sites are much worse! They show our kids their friends performing bad behavior.
      Not only staged actors performing these acts. This leaves parents with no control at all. By law we are the gaurdians
      of our children until 18 years old. We need to be given tools
      to stop these sites from showing things that we disapprove of.
      If this means they need to screen every text and photograph,
      so be it. These people who run these sites are the richest people in the world, I think they can afford it. If you call this censorship, O.K. Remember, I am the gaurdian of my child until 18.

      • http://wellingdigital.wordpress.com Kathy

        You know what!
        Social media can also be used to do the reverse.
        And it is being done right now.
        It can be used to deliver messages about the bad side of smoking, drugs and addiction, to scare the life out of children.

        More needs to be done, though.

        Take smoking for example, I read a recent study which found social networking to be helpful with smoking cessation.

      • http://gigsandgames.com Martin

        TP, Please don’t get me wrong, I hate facebook. I have witnessed a husband and wife sitting ten feet apart in the same room, texting each other and sending messages to each other on facebook, rather than conversing like human beings. My point was that I have children, and grandchildren, and because of proper parenting they are all great, well adjusted human beings, who are all eloquent, confident, and best of all pursuing rewarding careers. All may I say, off their own bats. I am obviously proud of them all, I came from a very poor home, in the post-war years, when rationing was still going on, but It didn’t stop my parents making sure I knew right from wrong, and I have had my own businesses from an early age, and I feel, made a success of my life, without blaming anyone for what I didn’t have, just worked hard so my children didn’t have to endure those same hardships. They all had mainstream education, and thrived on it.
        They have passed the same values to my grandchildren, of which I am extremely proud. Good parenting is a duty, not an option, if today’s morons sit and text or facebook message each other, day and night, their kids will learn to be just like them. We all lead by example

  • D. LaLumondier

    The problem is not Facebook, it is an epidemic of VERY POOR parenting. There does happen to be an off button on ALL computers and electronic devices. They should start using them. And by the way who bought these devise for their little darlings?

  • John

    I think that one issue of Facebook or Twitter is those using it lose the ability and skill to interact face-to-face with others. Normally, you don’t go to school in front of your screen, and you don’t go off to work in front of your screen. I worry about the loss of verbal and written communications skills that we desperately need in order to exist with each other in our daily lives.

  • http://www.pgpartist.com Orfeu


  • http://richinwriters.com Steven

    Facebook is not to blame its bad parenting. Personally I don’t like Facebook, that being said people will find any and every excuse to take the blame away from themselves.

    If my kids are failing it’s my fault as a parent, there’s something I’m not doing correctly, maybe instead of sitting in front of the couch watching T.V, talking on the phone or wasting time I should spend time trying to get to know my child. By getting to know my child I mean really getting to know him or her.

    Most parents only think they know their children because they allow themselves as parents to be naive. ‘Oh he’ll be fine” or “he’s just going through a teenage stage”. I see it and hear about it all the time. Parents have too many excuses and the media feeds into this.

    Facebook, the internet, television all of these entertainment based activities are never to blame it’s us people who don’t take action to correct/resolve these issues that are to blame.

  • http://blog.heathermaga.info Heather

    You could survey people (kids) about drugs and drinking, ask them in the save survey if they have a family pet at home. If the majority said they have a pet and use drugs you can make the argument that pets are causing kids to use drugs and drink.

    The stats are unrelated. Kids drank, did drugs and the like when I was teenager and did not have Facebook (or other social media). AND having a teenager now, I know there doesn’t seem to be any more kids now that using then back in my day. In fact – it even seems to me there might be less. And if not less they sure act a lot smarter about it then 25 years ago.

    It pure and simple peer pressure, home/school environment, genetic proclivity, etc., just like it’s always been. It just happens that people have Facebook now.

    Parents need to wake up and instead of blaming something like Facebook or Twitter. Join in. Friend your child on Facebook or follow them on Twitter (or pick up your cell and text them). It’s 2011 not 1950.

    • http://blog.heathermaga.info Heather

      *same survey

  • Tom Smith

    Rather than trying to blame the social websites (Facebook, Twitter etc.)Maybe we should start looking at the psychology of the people that frequent these sites. Is it possible, that it is an easy and quick outlet to a more deep rooted social or personality disorder?

  • CE

    Social media sites do have negative content many times. That is why you have to pick and choose what to keep and what to block on your page when you participate.

    It is ultimately up to the parents to monitor their kids use of the sites to make sure they approve of anything their child sees. If it is left up to the sites themselves to “censor” and regulate the content, people left and right will be screaming about freedom of speech violations.

    Parents are responsible for their children, and for screening any content their children may come into contact with.

    I have 3 kids, all under 8 years old. My kids will not be allowed to have a facebook page or be on any other social media site until they can demonstrate to me and my husband that they are responsible. Also, I will be able to monitor what they have on their pages, either through access as a friend, or through them logging in in front of me and showing me what they and their friends have written periodically. Probably both.

    Is this being a nosy parent? NO it is called being a concerned parent who has the best interest of their child at heart. Parents need to stop being so afraid of being the bad guy in their kids perspective, and start doing some actual parenting.

    Social media sites are not to blame. They only increase the access the unparented kids have to ideas which they can take and do what they will. Hasn’t this been the issue for decades now? Not too long ago it was the internet itself was evil and corrupted the minds of the kids…but only those who did not have parents that monitered the usage. It has always been about bad parenting…and bad parents want to blame everyone else for their own failure.

    • http://www.dbugking.com/andothers. Donald V Dunham

      Thank you very much YOU hit the nail right on the head

  • Candy Hawblitz

    I think Facebook is the BEST thing that ever happened on the Internet. IRC was great, but it didn’t give us the chance to actually meet the person. Since I’m an early “baby boomer”, we were basically “lost” during young adulthood and faced all kinds of hideous problems. In the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, no one discussed ANY personal problems. Depression, Panic Disorder and other illnesses were a stigma, and society and family condemned us. All of us LIVED in fear of BEING ourselves. Facebook gives young people an opportunity to talk about their problems, find friends facing the same ones, make new friends, learn about options..both in work and in school. I try to encourage my friends to BE themselves…not try to be “perfect” or “carbon copies”. If Facebook had existed when I was young, my life would have been totally different. I’m sure I would have had a career and never made the mistakes that I did when young. Basically, I had NO ONE to talk with, and Facebook would have helped those like me. I think it’s wonderful!!!!!

    • Anthony

      ” IRC was great, but it didn’t give us the chance to actually meet the person.”

      YES, you may get a chance to meet the person, whom you don’t really know, OR never even communicated with before online. Scary. Facebook flies in the face of everything I ever learned about the Internet and personal security. Never tell people your real name. Never give out personal info like what town you live and never any real contact info other than an email or online handle.

      It’s sad that now with social networking becoming the norm, it’s a predators dream come true. You might end up meeting that person one day when you least expect it. They know everything about you, maybe even what you had for lunch one day or the kind of underwear you use. (I was shocked to see a girl posting video of her new underwear)

      Burglars dream too. “Hey, I’m going to be on vacation, will not be home for a week”. They’ve already picked out what they want from the photos you’ve posted.

  • http://www.deepermeditation.net Tom Von Deck

    A common slogan in the scientific community is that correlation does not equal causation. The kids could be antisocial to begin with and simply use Facebook more, or the social media causes the behavior which is less likely. It’s either A causes B, B causes A or C (some other factor) causes both A and B.

  • http://www.feelbetter.co.nr Boomer12k

    1. They probably get it more from their friends. After all who gave the kids cigarettes, drugs, and booze??? Not Facebook.
    2. Any parent who lets their kid have a Facebook account is AN IDIOT!!!
    Kids are not supposed to be talking to the world, where predation abounds. Email is bad enough. Chat rooms are bad enough. Social Media is meant to connect people. But that is a curse as well as a blessing. Make sure they are ONLY communicating with their close neighborhood friends ONLY!!!!!! It is just good Self-Defense. My profession….

  • http://www.jkershaw.info James Kershaw

    I don’t think any internet app would harm a teenager. However, if it took away from homework time the answer is obviously positive. No kiddin’ about this one!

  • Anthony

    One thing bugging me about this: the term “drug and alcohol abuse” .. well, alcohol is a drug, so alcohol abuse is drug abuse.

  • Anthony

    And more important: correlation does not equal causation.

  • http://www.mindmagic123.com Hypnosis Hypnotherapy Los Angeles

    In the area of chemical dependency, it is not unusual for effects to be confused with causes, and vice versa. To add to the confusion, often both are true in self feeding cyclical processes. (snake swallowing its own tail image). As a Counselor it seems to me that teens who with to escape with alcohol etc. are more likely to seek escape via social media. Also those who depend more on the peer group for validation, etc., are more likely to be influenced by photos of intoxicated peers. And some of these effects perhaps in reverse, accentuated by the social media. All this leads to the usual inevitable conclusion. The best protection is a good, strong, non-judgemental caring relationship with a sgnificant adult parent figure. If this need is met, and the teens resulting self-esteem and self confidence are positive, vulnerability to external negatives is amazingly reduced. Bring up kids with a positive self concept!

    hypnosis hypnotherapy Los Angeles

  • http://www.dbugking.com/andothers. Donald V Dunham

    That’s bull++++ fuzzy science

    spouting off about a STUDY who did this Study ??

    • http://www.dbugking.com/andothers. Donald V Dunham

      oPPS i FOUND it. sorry

      • http://www.dbugking.com/andothers. Donald V Dunham

        OK, I still stand by my statement.

  • http://optinlearningcenter.com terry h

    I have owned an Internet Marketing company since 1997 and anticipated the idea of Social Media Marketing before it became what it is today. I think the Internet has enormous positive potential. It also has a really scary dark side. Facebook is another step in the evolution of the Internet but it is not the last phase either.I don’t think it has anything to do with drug use. However, What facebook is doing is confusing both young and older adults on who real family and friends are. Young people and even younger adults stay in the house they communicate by Facebook, their cell phones or E mail to people they don’t know at all or know very little.

    Facebook needs to evolve into a true community that encourages real friendships in real time.
    Terry H

  • Riyo

    Correlation =/= causation. Maybe it’s pot smokers/drinkers who are more likely to use Facebook, not that Facebook makes you a pot smoker/drinker.

  • Zach

    This article is completely swayed against Facebook… Stop hating

    It is very rare for teens to willingly abstain from online social media sites. The typical cause for avoiding sites such as Facebook is due to strict parenting; parents who don’t allow for their children to have a Facebook account. Strict parenting = less social life = less partying and introduction to drugs and alcohol

    It isn’t Facebook… It is how kids are raised

    Just as Riyo says: correlation doesn’t mean causation. There are more variables

  • Isabelle

    Social Media may not be ‘to blame’, but it certainly aggravates the problem. Teen drinking etc, since the beginning of time, has been about ‘looking cool’ to their mates and shocking the adults. Now they have a global stage on which to play their silly dangerous games. I agree with Zach, to a degree. It is about how the kids are raised; but the role of parenting is difficult enough without the added complication of Social Media. My opinion of Facebook? I think it is the most dangerous place on earth, and I have said so since it began. If I added all my reasons here, I would fill the page.

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