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Some social media ‘normalising drunken behaviour’ – drinkaware.ie

The increasing popularity of social media is impacting on young people’s attitudes to drinking and in some cases glorifying drunken behaviour according to Fionnuala Sheehan, Chief Executive of drinkaware.ie.

The increasing popularity of social media is impacting on young people’s attitudes to drinking and in some cases glorifying drunken behaviour according to Fionnuala Sheehan, Chief Executive of drinkaware.ie. 
“The growing popularity of social networking, video sharing and publishing photos online means young people consider it normal to document their nights out and use social media to let their friends know what they’re up to,” she said, “Unfortunately in some cases this has led to a normalisation of drunken behaviour.  Some students find it amusing to post videos or photographs online of their own or others’ binge-drinking, for example.  Others use social media outlets to brag about the amounts they are drinking on nights out. There is almost a sense of competition around who can have the most shocking stories or photographs or the most amusing videos.   
“We are concerned about trends such as these because, the more people are exposed to images of excessive drinking, the more they normalise such behaviour. If you are in your late teens or early 20s and your perception is that all your peers drink to excess and engage in anti-social behaviour you may view this as acceptable, if not essential, to fitting in,” she added. Fionnuala was speaking at the launch of the 2010/2011 Dare2bDrinkaware.ie competition.  “What we are hoping to do with the Dare2bDrinkaware.ie competition is to counteract this perception and show young people it is possible to enjoy alcohol in a more responsible manner.”
Now in its fourth year Dare2bDrinkaware.ie, a film and multimedia competition open to third-level students throughout Ireland, is sponsored by drinkaware.ie and organised by the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA).  
This year Dare2bDrinkaware.ie has a new multimedia category which means students can submit not only short films as entries but also multimedia projects such as websites, interactive CD-Roms, gaming projects or mobile phone apps.  All entries must challenge the relationship between Irish culture and drinking, must be produced entirely by third-level students over the age of 18 and must be made specifically for Dare2bDrinkaware.ie. 
A total prize fund of €5,000 is up for grabs and the competition will culminate in a screening and awards ceremony in Spring 2011.
The deadline for receipt of proposals is Thursday, 11th November 2010.  Teams that have submitted successful proposals will then have until 18th March 2011 to produce and submit their short films or multimedia projects.  
Dare2bDrinkaware.ie will culminate in a screening and awards ceremony in April 2011.  Further information and full guidelines for the competition are available at www.DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie <http://www.dare2bdrinkaware.ie/>.

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