A new survey has revealed that just under one in five teenagers don’t drink at all and two thirds feel that alcohol is not important to their social lives. Shedding the UK’s image as a nation of young binge drinkers, the biggest reason given for not drinking amongst the 16-24 year age group, was the impact that alcohol has on their health.
The researchers behind the study say that there has been a substantial cultural shift in young people and four out of 10 of those who were questioned said they believe alcohol is more important to their parents’ social lives than it is to their own.
Shockingly, 42% of youngsters said that they spend too much time on social media to drink alcohol. Whilst the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have faced their criticisms for the impact they’re having on the self-esteem of youngsters, it no doubt has played a huge part in the 50% decrease in the number of school pupils who have reported drinking alcohol at least once in their lives.
These surprising revelations have sparked suggestions that teenagers are now more concerned about looking fit and healthy online than they are about going out binge drinking. In fact, according to the research, one in four 16-24 year-olds said that they are concerned that being seen drinking would damage their online reputations on social media.
A further 35% said that they have more things to do with their time because of social media, smart phones and the Internet and 31% said that being made more aware of the calories in alcohol has stopped them from drinking. Other contributing factors towards the change in drinking culture amongst teenagers include that 55% say that they cannot afford alcohol and 47% say it is harder to get hold of booze even if they did want it.
Do you think there has been a change in attitudes towards drinking and what do you think could be causing it? Is our selfie-obsessed nation causing youngsters to care so much about what they look like that they are leading different lifestyles compared to 10 years ago? Feel free to share your thoughts on our Facebook page.