This is A Guest post by Chrisite Kane, see below for her Bio.
As soon as something – anything – happens it’s pretty common to hear someone say “AH I can’t wait to post that to Facebook!” Since the birth of Facebook in 2004 and its rapid expansion over the past few years, we’ve responded with an overwhelming fervor to the pull of social media and adapted an attitude that screams that we fully believe and embrace blasting our whole lives across the Internet under the pretense of “staying connected”.
So when is it too much? Where do we draw the line with what we’re sharing online and what falls into the category of oversharing? We’ve seen how police are monitoring social media to aid in identifying and solving crimes and how people have been targeted for crimes like burglaries based on their status updates indicating that they aren’t at home or are on vacation. Now, according to a new study sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, social media sites such as Facebook can help to identify people (namely underagecollege students) who have a serious drinking problem. How, you ask (though do you really need to ask)?
The objective of the study was simply stated as: “To examine the associations between displayed alcohol use and intoxication/problem drinking (I/PD) references on Facebook and self-reported problem drinking using a clinical scale.”
300 different public Facebook profiles of undergraduate students who attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Washington, Seattle were analyzed to see how many Facebook sites and statuses never mentioned alcohol, how many mentioned alcohol casually but not in reference to being “wasted” and the likes, and how many referenced alcohol in a manner that indicated excessive drinking (read: problem drinking). After examining these profiles, they then asked the people behind the profiles to take an online version of AUDIT – the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Anyone who scored over an 8 had a drinking problem. The group who fell into the “no alcohol” category scored a 4.7 on the test, the group who fell into the “some alcohol” category scored a 6.7 on the test, and the group who fell into the “excessive alcohol” category scored a 9.5 on the test. And all of this from information originally gathered off our Facebook pages.
“Results suggest that clinical criteria for problem drinking can be applied to Facebook alcohol references,” Researcher Megan Moreno, who led the study, and her colleagues identified in their study.
Which brings me back to the original question: how much is too much? When do we learn to draw the line about what we share with social media sites? Because the truth is, we may upload photos or update our statuses so our friends know what’s going on, but we’re putting it out there on the internet where anyone can access that information.
This Guest post is by Christine Kane from internet providers, she is a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects for different blogs. She can be reached via email at: Christi.Kane00 @ gmail.com.