College Students Have Alcohol Identities on Social Media

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College Students Have Alcohol Identities on Social Media

College students posting on social media sites about their alcohol use may have alcohol-related problems, according to a study published in the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives.

Researchers on the study from North Carolina State University and Ohio University were focused on determining what makes students drink and then post about the drinking on social media sites. To do so, they conducted an online survey of 264 undergraduate students, all over 18 years old. Each student had consumed one alcoholic drink within the last thirty days and also had social media accounts active such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

The participants were questioned about their alcohol problems, alcohol consumption, social media use, alcohol related-social media use and their reason for drinking. Those that posted about drinking considered alcohol consumption part of their personality and identity. This was related to alcohol problems such as skipping classes and getting into physical altercations. Posting on social media sites about alcohol also had a stronger link to these problems than just consuming the alcohol without posting about it. The researchers believe this may be because the students tie themselves to the culture of alcohol and are trying to live up to their identities.