Today, many people use social media on a consistent basis. A Pew Research Center study found that 7 in 10 people in the U.S. use social media to connect to others, entertain themselves, or share info with others. Considering how prevalent it is, there’s no doubt that what happens on social media impacts the lives of many. However, in some ways, it’s not positive. Social media has made alcohol a normalized part of the day in some ways. Is that the case? How does social media impact alcoholism?
Consider What Happens in Many Cases
A long day at work often leads to friends getting together after work to unwind, with selfies taken to document the event. After hours of dealing with children, a mother poses with a glass of wine in hand for a photo, claiming she deserves a break. Social media contests and challenges often revolve around the use of alcohol, or there are numerous accounts dedicated to challenges to beat that involve the use of alcohol.
Studies indicate that young people are exposed to pro-alcohol messages and images through the use of sites like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. Online displays of alcohol engagement directly correlate with offline alcohol use, the study found, noting that risky drinking is more likely to occur in those who engage with online social influence.
How Does Social Media Impact Alcohol Consumption and Alcoholism?
The presence of alcohol drinking on social media doesn’t automatically lead to a child wanting to use. However, there are several ways that alcohol consumption may be impacted.
- Alcohol advertising is common on social media. That includes beer, hard liquor, and other companies openly marketing their products on social media.
- Social media posts displaying alcohol consumption, including binge drinking, make it feel like a fun atmosphere and, as a result, may recruit others to join in on the fun.
- Dangerous TikTok challenges encourage the use of alcohol, often to dangerous levels, putting many people at risk for alcohol poisoning.
While it is important to note that not all social media use demonstrating alcohol use is bad, most people don’t encourage others to drink. Yet, for some, making alcohol consumption a normal part of daily life positions them to use.
Alcoholism Is a Serious, Life-Threatening Condition
For some people, consistent use of alcohol can lead to the onset of addiction and dependence, chronic and worsening conditions that can impact a person’s health, relationships, ability to maintain a job, and many other facets of daily life. It doesn’t take binge drinking on a consistent basis to cause alcoholism. For others, a single drink each day may lead to addictive behaviors and health complications.
When is the line crossed? This differs for each person. Yet, for those who have symptoms of alcoholism, seeking treatment is critical. This may include:
- Feeling the need to drink often
- Being unable to control how much you drink in a sitting
- Experiencing mood swings when not using
- Binge drinking
- Drinking in isolation
Ready to Find Help
There’s support readily available to you at Baystate Recovery Services. With proper treatment and support from our diverse programs, you may be able to see a brighter future that’s not controlled by addiction. Contact us today to speak with one of our medical professionals and learn more about the services we offer.