Is Social Media Like Alcohol? Does it Reduce Inhibitions?

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is social media like alcohol?

Social Media Lessons in Deportment

So here’s the deal…, there really are no lessons in deportment for social media.  We are left to our own devices on this one. Oh, people try to make rules — I try to make rules… but there really aren’t any.

Real Life Spills over in Social

Chances are if you are rude IRL (in real life), than you are most likely rude online, in social media.  If you make stupid decisions IRL, you will probably make stupid decisions in social media.  The fact of the matter is that usually (usually) a social media profile reflects a real life – someone, a person, an individual.  If that someone/person/individual is free-wheeling, crazy, loose and carefree, most likely their profile will reflect that.

Is Social Media Like Alcohol?

There is an interesting phenomena though.  Sometimes quiet, polite, and introverted people can have a wild and crazy or rude online persona.  I have seen it.  This leads me to believe that anonymity or simply a quiet space to write and think through a response or thoroughly pour out a story or blog allows some people the opportunity to be more than they are in real life.  More than they can allow themselves to be in real life. So, is social media like alcohol, in that it reduces inhibitions and allows us to break through a shyness or timidity?

Then There’s Me

I cannot tell you how many times I have written a comment or reply in anger or repugnant response only to delete before ever hitting that oh-so-tempting send button.  This is for the best – for me.  Not for everyone.  The new freedom of social has created superstars, removed self-doubt, as well as destroyed some lives by careless and thoughtless behavior or random miscalculations.  I am no longer FB friends with many people, including a couple family members, because of my FB rants or non-rants.

Assumptions are Umptions with an Ass in front

Too many times, I have seen responses or comments that were assumptions. Why anyone would comment on a post or status update when they didn’t know or really understand the issue or discussion is incomprehensible. It is easy to refrain from making a bad call, just stop and think. Sleep on it before you respond. It’s even easier, if the writer is a friend, to pick up the phone or send a personal/private message.

Accountability and Responsibility

Enjoying social media, using social media for business or networking requires responsibility on the part of the user. Those who make poor decisions, commenting erratically, posting with emotion instead of brains, not fully reading posts, these individuals usually wear out their welcome rather quickly. As well, smarts begin to shine through, or lack there of.

What is it? “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot than to open it and remove all doubt.”  Good to remember when engaging in social media.



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  1. Much as I would like to instruct others on how they use social media, I realise that it would then quickly become a very dull place indeed. For my part, I try to be a little more diplomatic in my use of language and the tone of my opinions, and a little sensitive when reading those of others. I reckon allowing for some wriggle-room should accommodate most sensibilities, without crossing the line too often.

    One thing’s for certain, you don’t have to go far on the internet to both offend, and to be offended.


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