‘90 per cent of the time when I have had a drink in my hand I’m on my phone as well’: A cross-national analysis of communications technologies and drinking practices among young people

Gabriel Caluzzi, Laura Fenton, John Holmes, Sarah MacLean, Amy Pennay, Hannah Fairbrother, Jukka Törrönen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Greater use of communication technologies among young people, including mobile phones, social media and communication apps, has coincided with declines in youth alcohol use in many high-income countries. However, little research has unpacked how drinking as a practice within interconnected routines and interactions may be changing alongside these technologies. Drawing on qualitative interviews about drinking with young people aged 16–23 across three similar studies in Australia, the United Kingdom and Sweden, we identify how communication technologies may afford reduced or increased drinking. They may reduce drinking by producing new online contexts, forms of intimacy and competing activities. They may increase drinking by re-organising drinking occasions, rituals and contexts. And they may increase or reduce drinking by enabling greater fluidity and interaction between diverse practices. These countervailing dynamics have likely contributed to shifting drinking patterns and practices for young people that may be obscured beneath the population-level decline in youth drinking.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Media & Society
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Affordances
  • alcohol
  • communications technology
  • practice theory
  • young people

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