Rapid information dissemination has its pros and cons. Social networking is a critical tool in positive awareness-raising, activism and other campaigns, but social networking can also minimize the perceived dangers of alcohol — as well as help a drinker avoid consequences.
For example, there are many phone apps and Twitter accounts that announce the times and locations of DUI checkpoints, so that someone under the influence can attempt to evade the law.
“Also known as the DUI dodger” — one of many DUI Checkpoint location apps available for smartphones.
Countless apps, blogs, and other sharing sites minimize the danger of overindulgence. Hundreds of drinking games are only a smartphone away. Blogs devoted to glorifying outrageous or reckless drunken behavior are everywhere. And anyone with a cameraphone and internet connection can immediately post pictures of someone under the influence — which can lead to terrible consequences.
The ease of posting information and getting it out to dozens of people in one click has its problems — many house parties California (and beyond) have gotten completely out of control when the location was shared on Facebook — leading to riots, injuries, and many damages.
With alcohol companies continuously marketing to their target populations, including youth, these online tools and trends can lead to a misleading and ultimately dangerous perception by young people — that extreme alcohol use is fun, harmless, and accepted.