Disapproving But Invisible: College Student and Adult Views, Reasons, and Responses to On-Line Posts about Alcohol

Loreen Wolfer 1 *
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1 University of Scranton, USA
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp. 55-80. https://doi.org/10.12973/ojcmt/2354
OPEN ACCESS   1897 Views   1085 Downloads   Published online: 24 Apr 2018
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Most research about alcohol on social media focuses on visible posts college students share, but not how others, including adults, view this information and what they do in response. An online survey of 572 students and 190 faculty/staff at a northeastern Pennsylvania university asked respondents to rate, explain, and react to two hypothetical Facebook posts about alcohol. One post was a bland statement of intoxication, while the other depicted the person as underage and mentioned vomiting. Findings reveal age similarities in the general views, reasons, and reactions to both posts. While more critical of the higher offense post, both students and adults felt that each post was generally inappropriate and their reasoning is similar. For the low offense post, respondents felt that it was socially unpopular and reflected poorly on the person; and, in the more offensive post, the illegal behavior was noted. However findings also reveal that both students and adults largely report that they would ignore or hide the post; therefore, the poster is not likely to see or be aware of the viewer’s disapproval. Theoretical and policy implications are discussed.


Wolfer, L. (2018). Disapproving But Invisible: College Student and Adult Views, Reasons, and Responses to On-Line Posts about Alcohol. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 8(2), 55-80. https://doi.org/10.12973/ojcmt/2354


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