Advertisements glamorize a product to make you feel like everyone should have it. Forbes states that the increased use of social media by one hour a day can result in a .45 unit upsurge in the frequency of alcohol consumption in teens. Social media sites need to avoid the promotion of alcoholic beverages so that these teens do not develop alcoholism as they get older.

A Preventative Medicine study called into question the belief that increased screen time can lead to teens abstaining from alcohol. The more these teens are engaged in their electronic devices, the more likely they will not waste their time drinking. Teens that tend to watch more adult content on TV will gain more exposure to positive depictions of drinking in ads. On social media, there are no age restrictions on what kind of ads are placed. 

Tik Tok is the only app to ban alcohol ads entirely. Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube, on the other hand, only prohibit alcohol ads that are directed at minors or assume that alcohol is a healthy option. Many of these campaigns are still shown to be funny, adventurous, or clever. Facebook’s only alcohol policy is that ads cannot be targeted to those under 18.

If Social Media is to Blame

We need to ask these social media sites if they need to be more forceful in what advertisers they allow on their sites and if these platforms are encouraging teens to drink. We need to know how much these alcohol ads are showing up in their feeds and if there should be controls with advertising in general. Even if these ads are meant to reach those who are of the legal age to drink, teens are still seeing them which gives them the impression that drinking is cool and will make you seem more mature. 

What Can Be Done

Social media companies need to do more to protect teens from seeing these ads. Facebook can take into account the ages of the users when they sign up for an account so that they are aware of what ads are appropriate to show them. YouTube should also put an age limit on the commercial content that can be shown on a user’s account as well. Having social media sites block the exposure of alcohol ads on teen users’ profiles, they are preventing the chances of alcoholism.

At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.