No longer will researchers of collegiate alcohol abuse have to rely solely on counting the number of barfing, passed-out, and/or streaking students in order to accurately gauge how many of them are hopeless drunks.
Now they can just look at Facebook.Researchers at UW and University of Wisconsin-Madison recently completed a study where they looked at college undergrads and how they referenced alcohol use on Facebook versus how they fared on a survey (the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test or AUDIT) in terms of problem boozing.
Sure enough those that used terms like "getting wasted" and "getting drunk" on Facebook were far more likely to fit into the mold of "having a drinking problem" than those who talked about, I don't know, schoolwork and studying.
In a statement sent out about the study, Megan A. Moreno, assistant professor of adolescent medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, wrote:
"Underage college students and adolescents frequently display references to alcohol on Facebook. Our study suggests that parents and college health care providers who note references to problem drinking on the Facebook profiles of adolescents should consider discussing drinking habits with their children and patients."
Other tips include not referencing all the boozing you do on Facebook, or simply changing your settings to private.