Experts: Universities Should Use Social Media to Reduce Student Drinking

Universities should use social media to convince students to reduce their drinking, according to a group of alcohol and public health experts. They suggest borrowing tactics from the alcohol industry to target alcohol-related messages toward specific groups.

The experts met at Boston University to discuss how to use social media to reach college students with anti-drinking messages. In a report on the meeting, the experts said educational quizzes could be targeted at students less likely to engage in risky drinking. Messages about therapy and rehab could be sent to students who may have alcohol dependence, Forbes reports. Messages could be tailored to a particular college’s drinking culture, the experts noted.

“I think for any organization trying to curtail alcohol use or binge drinking, it’s almost imperative to have a social media presence because that’s where the kids are,” said Michael Siegal , a professor at Boston University who studies the effects of marketing on youth substance use. “Especially since it looks like the alcohol companies have a presence, it can’t be a one-way street.”

Full story of social media reducing student drinking at drugfree.org

Facebook Infidelity Examined in New Research

Thanks to a new study by Texas Tech University researchers, treating infidelity among couples may change due to the unique aspect of social networking sites, specifically Facebook.

Using data from Facebookcheating.com, researchers found that although the stages of coping with online infidelity are unique, the infidelity itself creates similar emotional experiences for the partner who was cheated on.

“This is very important because there is a line of thought that if the infidelity was discovered online, or confined to online activity, then it shouldn’t be as painful,” said Jaclyn Cravens, a doctoral candidate in the Marriage & Family Therapy Program and lead author of the study.

During her master’s program clinical work, Cravens discovered many of her clients’ relationship issues stemmed from online infidelity thanks to an increasing number of people using social media sites, especially Facebook.

“Facebook already has changed the dynamics of relationships,” Cravens said. “We see when our ‘friends’ are getting into a relationship. We say a relationship isn’t ‘official’ until it’s ‘Facebook-official.'”

Full story of facebook infidelity at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Do You Fear You Are Missing Out?

Does checking Twitter and Facebook to see what your friends are up to make you feel like you are missing out on all the fun? Researchers have come up with a way of measuring the modern day concept of the “fear of missing out” (FoMO).

The rise in social media, where we can keep up-to-date with each other’s every movements like never before, has led to the hidden curse of the “fear of missing out.”

A relatively new concept, FoMO is a concern people have that others may be having more fun and rewarding experiences than them and is characterized as the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.

Now, researchers at the University of Essex have devised a way of measuring FoMO for the first time, providing a reliable measure of what people are experiencing.

Full story of missing out on social media at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Facebook Interests Could Help Predict, Track and Map Obesity

Facebook Could Track and Map ObesityThe higher the percentage of people in a city, town or neighborhood with Facebook interests suggesting a healthy, active lifestyle, the lower that area’s obesity rate. At the same time, areas with a large percentage of Facebook users with television-related interests tend to have higher rates of obesity. Such are the conclusions of a study by Boston Children’s Hospital researchers comparing geotagged Facebook user data with data from national and New York City-focused health surveys.

Together, the conclusions suggest that knowledge of people’s online interests within geographic areas may help public health researchers predict, track and map obesity rates down to the neighborhood level, while offering an opportunity to design geotargeted online interventions aimed at reducing obesity rates.

The study team, led by Rumi Chunara, PhD, and John Brownstein, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Informatics Program (CHIP), published their findings on April 24 in PLOS ONE.

Full story of Facebook and obesity at Science Daily

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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education