Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Social Media, Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n Roll

Compared to teens who do not use social networks, teens who do are five times likelier to use tobacco, three times likelier to drink alcohol, and twice as likely to smoke marijuana, according to a new report getting splashed all over the Internet today.

And you always thought it just seemed people on Facebook, etc., are having more fun than you.  They really are having more fun than you.

Images of teens on social media are "rampant" with booze pix, pot pix, and all the rest.  Also tied to this, according to the report, is watching suggestive television.

There's little reason for me to repeat what you can easily see on the report itself.  Here's also a good Chicago Tribune story on the same report.

What makes me curious, and honestly I don't want to dig so deeply in the methodology today, is who the hell are these teens who don't use social media?  I strongly suspect we're not talking about a cause-and-effect relationship here, but rather the authors of the study failed to account for any number of third variables that may better explain the findings.  This often happens when people who don't normally conduct research on the media try to conduct research on the media.  They suck at it. 

If you'd like to dig deeper, here's a pdf of the report.

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