In today’s digital world, teens not only have to avoid peer pressure from their classmates and friends, they also have to avoid the constant pressure to fit in every time they refresh their Facebook News Feed.
A recent study led by Grace C. Huuang, PhD, of the Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research at the University of Southern California, researched how social networking influences teenager’s hazardous behavior. The study found that Facebook and Myspace teenage users had a higher chance of participating in drinking and smoking activities if their friends posted party pictures with these happenings on social networks.
When teens sign into their Facebook accounts and are continuously bombarded by pictures of their friends drinking and smoking at parties, they start to feel like they are missing out and that they need to be taking part in this risky behavior in order to fit in.
What these digital teens need to understand is that social networks such as Facebook and Myspace paint an unrealistic picture of what their friends are actually doing. It’s very rare that while scrolling through someone’s Facebook page you are likely to see them at home watching TV, doing their homework or spending quality time with their family, because it’s just “not cool.” People only post what they want you to see because in reality, they just want to be as cool as you do.