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Social Media's Role In Peer Pressure

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the if-everyone-else-tweeted-off-a-bridge,-would-you-do-it-too? dept.

Social Networks 39

Daniel_Stuckey writes "The Fear of Missing Out phenomenon is part of why people tend to get addicted to social networking and then depressed. And if you're a young, impressionable teenager, it could pressure you into making sure you, too, are happily intoxicated the next time someone snaps a group shot. That's the gist of the latest study to find that social media photos of people drinking and smoking can influence teens into partaking in the same degenerate behavior. The University of Southern California study was published online today in the Journal of Adolescent Health."

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39 comments

Afraid I missed this (5, Funny)

Cyfun (667564) | about 8 months ago | (#44754117)

I've had these fears for as long as I can remember. Always wondered if this problem had been documented, and was afraid that it already had been announced and I'd missed out on it.

My fear (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 8 months ago | (#44754319)

I've had these fears for as long as I can remember.

On the other hand, I have a real fear of not remembering things that I need to remembered, and I honestly don't know how long I've forgotten I'm not remembering whatever that I need to remember.

Re:Afraid I missed this (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44754323)

Whether or not you're missing out really depends on what your friends are posting. My friends constantly nag me about getting a Facebook account, and now and again there are conversations I'm slightly left out of where they'll say "See, if you had Facebook you'd know this".

Thing is, those conversations tend to be about incredibly inane things like cat videos and pictures of people at a party. Very rarely are they about something which is actually interesting or which actually matters, and in those situations you usually hear about it by word of mouth anyway. Facebook doesn't have a monopoly on information transmission, if you can live with not knowing until you see people the next morning it's not a big loss.

Re: Afraid I missed this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44754707)

My mother is addicted to social networking, but she does it face to face (very clingy) so it isnt an addiction it is called being social.

Re: Afraid I missed this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44757185)

Technically still an addiction.

Re:Afraid I missed this (1)

robsku (1381635) | about 8 months ago | (#44757869)

Note: Long babbling ahead, skip to end of message if bored/sane/etc. for something I actually wanted point out...

I've been addicted to social networking for a long time.
I do have facebook account, and I've chosen to associate myself with only certain people, which keeps it actually around as largely interesting for me as slashdot postings - but only for very limited time.

I practically never really "use" facebook, but sometimes I do go there for one of several reasons:
1) To post text, link or images (like when I came from Kraftwek gig at Flow Festival in Finland last month) to people, like my sister for example, usually to make something easily (for me and them) available to one or (most often) several friends at once.
2) To contact someone when the only way - literally or only way using internet - is via facebook. Or if the other way (such as email when you need to contact him/her right now and he/she doesn't know it).
3) Someone else contacts me via SMS or other way and asks to continue there because of one or another reason that makes it hard/impossible other way.

Having to go there for these last two annoys me to no end. It usually means that I'm loading the freaking script-asylum webpage which will slow my computer so much that though it doesn't use much of my 50Mbp/s line, it makes all other loading via browser (or in extreme cases, which means all cases on my slower systems) any downloads as it slows any and every program running - and for what? Text based chat which makes me wan't to whip up a greasemonkey script to disable the awful automatic smilie to image conversion.

I've tried to recommend adding my social netwok addiction to their addictions ;)

I can do anything I would want using it and use next to none of my machines capabilities. Talking, sharing links, videos, images, it all works - and it's way older than facebook.
It's called Internet Relay Chat, and is not accessed via web, that is by using www browser - though there have been web based frontends of IRC clients for longer than I've known IRC even... But for true social network addict this is nothing but a crux you could use on extreme emergency when no other option was available. Using a client of your liking to connect at least to one IRC network (for the most popular ones there are mirrors worldwide to provide faster and less laggy connection) and join at least one channel.
I'm currently on IRCNet, OFTC and Efnet networks - on what channels and using what nick(s), I won't tell.

Benefits: IRC client shows text - it can be scripted to choose links, launch them in one or another application, etc., but most clients show text only. And most support terminal/text-mode/cmd.exe type character based output.
While there are channels that have bots automatically saving logs and putting them on the channell webpage the common rule is that once you said something it's gone (not readable to those not on the channell at the time you wrote it), not stored forever like is the common rule with anything you write in web. It doesn't mean that someone can't/isn't currently saving log of the conversation - probably for personal use, but like anywhere (even offline/IRL) you can find later that your being quoted for something stupid. But that has been true before internet or BBS systems just as well.

Also wherever I am, if there is a simple SSH client, I can access not only my usual channels, not only my session but use my preferred client, loaded with scripts (read plugins/extensions for browser equivalent) to enhance the experience. Heck, and old VT100 terminal connected to *nix system with ssh client will do - in fact the experience was not far from that with my old 286 system connected via null-modem cable to my linux box and using OpenDOS and Commo for the connection and terminal emulation, except for the colors :) Also, like VT100 terminals, Commo didn't seem to support sending the letters å, à & à in any mode (ansi, vt100, etc.) understood/compatible with Linux/agetty/screen - I've never had this problem dialing to BBS's from DOS in the old days so I tried to find what to change/configure/etc. in Linux, but back then I was new to it and wasn't able to find a way.

Read this far?
Here's what I have remarked. Back in the late 90's, in my teenage/early adulthood I was mocked as geek/nerd for my computer hobby and as having no life for my habit of talking more with people online than IRL - but I had healthy social life In Real Life, it's just very easy to talk about more stuff with more people on IRC because one channel usually has at least dozen, often several, people. Also I find it much more social what happens in IRC networks than facebook.
Nowdays I see young people, who don't understand computers, and even in a group I have seen such people all staring at their own phones, all using facebook (so maybe occasional twitter). And I was a nolifer!?
I have to wonder how much their data bill is in comparison to one from spending as much time on IRC would be? ;)

Re:Afraid I missed this (4, Insightful)

chromas (1085949) | about 8 months ago | (#44754327)

It's why kids don't want to go to sleep—something will happen and they'll miss out.

Re:Afraid I missed this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44755039)

...and drunks don't want to go to sleep because they know their friends will write on them with a Sharpie.

Re:Afraid I missed this (1)

robsku (1381635) | about 8 months ago | (#44757977)

In the social network of IRC we had awaylog which you could configure to capture lines which contain a string or match an expression - by default most clients captured anything with your nick.
It was also a convenient way to set status, ie. /away "Gone to sauna, brb" while you were away to be shown for anyone private messaging or querying /whois from you...

There was nothing that important you could not go to sleep at 3am for at least 3-5 hours when I was a teen ;)

Re:Afraid I missed this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44758515)

Pfft, had? Plenty of popular irc channels out there - the xkcd main channel generally has 300+ users.

Re: Afraid I missed this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44757001)

It's all fun and gmes until you wake up in the alley with your pants a backwards.

Degenerate Behaviour (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44754123)

"social media photos of people drinking and smoking can influence teens into partaking in the same degenerate behavior"

Hmmm... Where did I hear that same argument?

Oh Yeah! I remember now! Every time any new form of communication has come to existence!

I'm starting to think someone's using 50 year old newspapers as source for their articles.

Re:Degenerate Behaviour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44757661)

Yeah the problem isn't the medium, but the structure of society.

Re:Degenerate Behaviour (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#44757943)

The problem isn't the medium, but human psychology.

Re:Degenerate Behaviour (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 8 months ago | (#44758353)

Very true. Every generation since language was invented has been adament that the current generation of kids is ill mannered, disrespect their elders in ways "we never did"...and furthermore, this used to be a safer place, because even if crime rates and murder rates are down, the ones that happen today are so much worst.

Amazing! (4, Interesting)

sidevans (66118) | about 8 months ago | (#44754171)

I thought it was movies, TV shows, rock music, rap music, computer games, friends and family that were at fault for the evil's of society, I'm glad we can blame social media now, people were starting to point the finger at religion for causing these issues and we can't have that happening now...

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44754385)

I thought it was movies, TV shows, rock music, rap music, computer games, friends and family that were at fault for the evil's of society, I'm glad we can blame social media now, people were starting to point the finger at religion for causing these issues and we can't have that happening now...

Well, obviously we can't look to burden religion any more. It has wars to incite and people to brainwash. Rather full plate. It has no time to partake in Evil Du Jour games.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44757237)

As long as capitalism isn't involved in the discussion, I don't think anyone will care who or what gets blamed. I mean, how has selfishness and greed ever hurt anyone? Really?

And for you naysayers out there, I have two very strong words: C'moooooooooooon!

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44755069)

This is why these studies are completely idiotic.. Why not do a study to find out how and why people are easily manipulated into voting or believing the false words of there politicians? ANd politicians use these studies to pass misguided laws, or for more censorship.

I always ask the question, are politicians and government paying to have these studies done? And making sure it is worded in such a way that it appears to support the results they are after..

And they are teenagers, and whether science wants to admit to it or not, that age bracket, has always and will always rebel against everything they are not told to do. Unless they are complete nerds and geeks, in which case they never really seem to do anything in life that may be worth a little risk. (not to stereo type every geek or nerd to be that way)

Re:Amazing! (1)

YttriumOxide (837412) | about 8 months ago | (#44763399)

And they are teenagers, and whether science wants to admit to it or not, that age bracket, has always and will always rebel against everything they are not told to do. Unless they are complete nerds and geeks, in which case they never really seem to do anything in life that may be worth a little risk. (not to stereo type every geek or nerd to be that way)

I find it interesting you say this... in my experience, it's the geeks and nerds that ended up getting in the most 'trouble' in the long run, since we tend to buck against the rules a little more. All kids buck the rules, but it's the geeks and nerds that are more likely to develop an attitude of "examine the rules and discard those that aren't practically useful or interesting". This often leads to a cavalier attitude, whereby the geek believes him/herself to be better than these "pointless rules" that were "made up for managing the dumb masses".

I myself felt this way throughout my teens and most of my early 20s. I admit to still feeling a little this way at times, but I've matured enough now to realise my initial dismissal of the rules was based an incomplete understanding of society and people in general (it's certainly not 'complete' now, but at least I now KNOW my understanding is incomplete).

Out of my high-school peers from 15 to 20 years ago, the geeks and nerds are now the ones with the most drug convictions; the only ones with hacking convictions; at least one instance of white-collar crime that I know of; and at least one instance of grand theft that I know of. The only "risky" behaviour we're behind on are things like violent crime or drunk and disorderly.

The 'sportspeople' got married, settled down and had kids early. The 'cool kids' ended up being boring due to a lack of any real skills (and are now mostly in sales and marketing). But us geeks... we ended up revelling in our new found freedoms after school. We took drugs that we knew weren't as harmful as everyone said. We hacked systems and made money from it in the days when computer security wasn't a major consideration for most companies. We learned how shop security systems worked and then shoplifted (or stole through other means) our computer equipment without having to pay for it.

I'm not condoning what we did. I know that it was bad behaviour and I do honestly regret some of the things I did (not all though...). But my point is that these things are the domain of the geeks and the nerds. No-one else had the skills or knowledge (or more importantly, the inclination to learn) to be able to pull off the stuff we did back then.

Re:Amazing! (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#44755687)

No one was really blaming religion. That's a dumb argument and you should know better. People seek scapegoats even when something else isn't seeking protection from criticism.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44756619)

No one was pointing at religion except perhaps militant atheists no one listens to anyway because they're the type that bring religion into every single debate, regardless of how irrelevant it may be to the issue at hand.

The idea is to blame the new pop culture trends for all the evils of society, because old people eventually reach a point where they can't tolerate any more change.

Nothing Groundbreaking Here (2)

EzInKy (115248) | about 8 months ago | (#44754181)

The bottom line is this: "the frequency of adolescent SNS use and the number of their closest friends on the same SNSs were not significantly associated with risk behaviors." It has been known since at least Aesop the birds of feather flock together.

"Social Media Is Getting Young People Drunk" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44754349)

After hours of Facebook I'm still sober. What am I doing wrong?

Yeah.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44754475)

How many us of really wanted to be included in hundreds of pictures on the internet when we were that age? Most of the people here probably had plenty of "irl" friends, and a boatload of irc/aol/"l33t grp" pals. Even back then, we knew it was stupid. I remember the first time I got dox'ed, it was 17 years ago and I was horrified. These great "2.0" people have no care, no idea, and no clue about how crappy that is. But yet they go forth without a second thought. There wasn't legislation back when we were cyber-punched in the face; we talk to people every day who are clueless whether they're above us or below us on the corporate ladder. Should we even waste our breath explaining what consequences they may possibly face? Should they learn the hard way?

As much as major media outlets talk about how the new "digital natives" are so adept at maneuvering the all important social media aspect of what I'll call "our" internet, should we really care when they learn things the hard way despite the sheer number of people who have gone before them and walked through the fire? They could search and learn about any number of examples of why privacy matters; yet they do not. Maybe it's best that we let them learn what it's like to find your embarrassing picture in a decade. Maybe we as pioneers deserve to charge them to learn how this whole privacy thing works. Social media is a farce and we all know how easily one can make or break a reputation. While these people think an IP address refers to where they urinate, we know how easily it is to falsify stats.

I keep expecting so much more from this "digital generation," but yet once I ask them a question I could have answered as a pre-teen, they are suddenly at a loss for words. I guess they need to learn things the hard way, and deserve what they receive. Approaching the 20 year mark in regards to time spent on the 'net, I still dislike putting out anything remotely personal. Am I a dinosaur waiting for his meteor, or a guide who can't understand the worldview of his clients?

Euphemisms (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 8 months ago | (#44754645)

Fear of Missing Out = Bored, Lonely, Horny as a dog in heat.
Addicted to Social Media = Addicted to Porn
Lonely and depressed = Can't get laid on impulse

Sounds like the usual state of affairs. Facebook is fueled by boners and sex drives generated by the Large Hard-on Collider

Re:Euphemisms (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#44755057)

Sounds like the usual state of affairs. Facebook is fueled by boners and sex drives generated by the Large Hard-on Collider

No, that's grindr.

2 years off social media and doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44754961)

While my family and friends have reduced their complaining, I now receive more calls and text from them. I disliked the distance it created for my "social" life and having been off facebook for 2 years now ( and never being a part of twitter/myspace/tumblr...) I get to actually communicate like the old days of dumbphones. Hey, I'm too young to have had a big social life without mobile phones.

Wow ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44755273)

people drinking and smoking can influence teens into partaking in the same degenerate behavior

Use loaded words much? Nice bit of objective science reporting there.

fear of missing out (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 8 months ago | (#44755881)

The only reason I bother with Facebook at this point (the only "social media" network I actually check) is that I have discovered that I like knowing what my cousins across the country are up to. It's hard to stay connected to family in this day and age on a day to day basis without it.

If it weren't for that, I'd have deleted the thing years ago. I could care less about the group photos and whatnot from the blurb.

Not much of an effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44756013)

The only surprise here is that the betas were so low (.11 and .06). That's not much of an effect.

And this is news...why? (1)

Seranova731 (3040233) | about 8 months ago | (#44756457)

So basically, it's the same issue of teens wanting to fit in and do what the other teens are doing, only with a more tech-involved twist...okay then. Social media, while often a cause of irritation and annoyance, shouldn't be the latest in a line of scapegoats to place the blame of peer pressure on. I wonder who this study was funded by anyway.

No, that's just perfectly normal paranoia (1)

RatherBeAnonymous (1812866) | about 8 months ago | (#44757709)

All through my life I've had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no one would tell me what it was.

Better question (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 8 months ago | (#44758247)

That's the gist of the latest study to find that social media photos of people drinking and smoking can influence teens into partaking in the same degenerate behavior.

And what is it that pressures people into partaking in judging others choices as "degenerate". Seems like a more important question to answer since its a problem that tends to lead to attempts to control others behaviour, as this sort of behavior often turns violent as the perpetrators find their means of control don't work and they inevitably turn their eye towards punishment.

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