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

Loreen Wolfer 1 *

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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.


Facebook alcohol college students adults


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article


Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 8, Issue 2, April 2018, pp. 55-80

Published Online: 24 Jun 2018

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