The study claims that teens using social networking sites daily are much more likely to drink, smoke and use marijuana. The study was conducted on 1,000 American teenagers in the age group of 12 to 17 years. The study revealed that users who open the social networking websites daily were five times more likely to smoke tobacco than those who are infrequent users.
Almost 70 per cent of the participants said they used such websites on a typical day. A main reason for using social networking sites was to keep tabs on peers with the help of their photographs. The study also revealed that there is no check on pictures of teenagers “drunk, passed out, or using drugs” on Facebook or other social networking sites.
Parents have no idea that regular use of such sites can have negative impact on their child in terms of abusing drink or drugs. Almost nine out of 10 parents questioned believed it did not have an effect on them.
Joseph Califano, founder of National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has urged Facebook and other social networking sites to implement tighter controls to block such photographs. “The time has come for those who operate and profit from social networking sites like Facebook to deploy their expertise to curb such images and to deny use of their sites to children and teens who post pictures of themselves and their friends drunk, passed out or using drugs,” said Califano.