Facebook pictures of fresher’s week antics and boozy Saturday nights may become a thing of the past according to a recent report that shows young people are ditching drink partly due to fears of being “cybershamed” on social media.
Figures show that over the last ten years the number of people aged 16-24 choosing to shun the hard stuff has overtaken the number of older teetotallers.
More than a quarter of people in their teens and early twenties are teetotal according to the report from The Office of National Statistics. Since 2005 the number of 16-24 year olds who do not drink alcohol has risen from 19 per cent to 27 per cent in 2013. While teetotalism among the over-65s has fallen only one percent from 28 per cent to 27 per cent in the same time period. The figure for 25-44 year olds was 20 per cent, and 17 per cent for 45-64 year olds.
Scenes of scantily clad youths slumped in street corners may also be dwindling as the number of teenagers and twenty something’s binge drinking, which is defined as drinking more than eight units for men and six units for women within one day, was also found to have fallen severely, from 29 per cent to 18 per cent. In older people, however, these figures rose from 4 per cent to 5 per cent.
The ONS report said: “Young adults are commonly associated with binge drinking in the media. However, the latest data about their relationship with alcohol might surprise you.”
Alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware suggested that clampdowns on off-licenses, bars and supermarkets selling alcohol to those under 21 may have been a factor in young people ditching drink.
Spokesman Kelly O’Sullivan told the DailyMail: “We’ve also seen something called ‘cyber-shame’. Young people who spend a lot of time online are quite happy to tag photos of their friend’s but are more concerned about being tagged themselves. This might curb their behaviour.”
The report also suggests that a “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” lifestyle is increasingly less likely to be on the agenda for young people with fewer taking drugs and fewer having casual sex.
Reasons for this decline in young, reckless behaviour include strong campaigns to reduce alcohol consumption, young people being more strapped for cash after the recession and large numbers of young people preferring to stay in and speak to their friends online.