FYI: Teenagers who frequent social networking sites like Facebook and watch bawdy, scandalous, delightful television shows like Jersey Shore, Gossip Girl, Skins, and 16 and Pregnant are more likely to use drugs and alcohol than teens who don’t have computers or cable TV and are locked in their rooms by their parents when they’re not at school or in the basement practicing clarinet. Given that about 70 percent of the teens surveyed used social networking sites, and thereby were privy to their evils, the only answer to this is, obviously, kill Facebook.
Interestingly, before Facebook, teens were still likely to use drugs and alcohol, so we’re not exactly sure what this study’s point is, except perhaps to make parents scared. In which case, be our guest! From the survey:
About 20 percent of 16- and 17-year-olds who regularly used social networking sites reported trying marijuana compared to 11 percent of kids who did not use social networking sites regularly.
Also, regular viewers of the programs we mentioned “were about twice as likely to use tobacco or alcohol.”
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University was profoundly troubled by the results of the survey, writing, “The results are profoundly troubling,” and “This year’s survey reveals how the anything goes, free-for-all world of Internet expression [and] suggestive television programming … put teens at sharply increased risk of substance abuse.”
The Internet: Making kids bad since Al Gore came up with it. Before that, well, who the hell can remember?