When party drugs like ecstasy first hit the scene back in the late 80s, we didn’t have things like mobile phones and social media, meaning you could get as messed up as possible without risking making a complete fool of yourself in the virtual world.
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However, this has all changed thanks to the rise of the internet and, as such, it’s now easier than ever to make an absolute twat of yourself while high on whatever substance you’ve chosen to take on a night out.
Although you might think this is a pretty niche issue, researchers over in New York have decided to look into what happens to people when they go out clubbing and post dumb shit on social media.
Guess what? They regret it… did we really need a study for this?
Probably not, but the New York University researchers went ahead with it anyway, speaking to 872 ravers on drugs at clubs across the city to ask them if they regretted writing DMs, tweets and texts or appearing in photos whilst mashed.
Joseph Palamar, PhD, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine, said:
Risky social media posts, including those showing people high on drugs, have the potential to cause embarrassment, stress, and conflict for users and those in their social networks.
It can also have adverse implications for one’s career since the majority of employers now use social media platforms to screen job candidates and may search for evidence of substance use.
At least one in five experienced regret after engaging in these behaviours while high, suggesting that some situations may have resulted in socially harmful or embarrassing scenarios.
Women and young adults aged between 18-24 were ‘at particularly elevated risk for posting on social media while high and were also more likely to text, make calls, and take photos while high’.
The study’s co-author Austin Le, MSc, a research associate in the NYU Langone Department of Population Health and a dental student at NYU College of Dentistry, added:
While more research is needed, our findings suggest a need for prevention or harm reduction programs to educate high-risk groups not only about the adverse health effects of substance use, but also about the potential negative social outcomes.
While prevention programs have largely focused on physical safety – for example, not driving after drinking – such programs can also stress that using a smartphone while high can increase the risk of someone engaging in regretful behaviour.
Tactics such as using apps to prevent texting while intoxicated or delaying posting on social media until one is no longer experiencing drug effects may help to minimize social harm.
Maybe, just maybe, people should just airplane mode their phone when they’re off their nut? Would save an awful lot of sweat and regret in the long run.
Thinking about it, eBay should’ve been taken into consideration in this study too. Just ask the guy who bought a yak while high on pills.