Thursday, August 29, 2013

Underage Drinking Blog Analysis

The trend of underage drinking is something that I've grown up having to deal with between the media, lectures from parents and involvement of my friends.  And who's to say I never enjoyed in the occasional outting before I was of legal age?  But now at 21 years old, almost 22, and incredibly boring (I blame the underage drinking and getting it "out of my system" before college started) I see these adolescents's pictures on Facebook or hear about it through the grapevine, and I have a whole new perspective on the issue.  Are some of these kids doomed to drink and have alcohol problems the rest of their lives?  Maybe just be the partiers in college?  Or similar to me, do all the fun stuff now and when college comes be able to focus on their school work, going to work and making a life for themselves?  

The three blogs that I looked at were all very similar in a way but also had their differences.  The first one, MADD, was a blog connected to an actual website against underage drinking and drunk driving and the dangers of it.  The second, written by a college student, discussed the danger and precautions of underage drinking while offering a website to offer support for any alcohol abuse out there.  And the third blog from the American Journal of Nursing  also talked about the dangers of underage drinking but also included a link for parents or teens to use for safer ways of drinking or talking about it.  

All three blogs' designs were well crafted. Each one used personal stories or experiences to begin their blog which grabbed my attention.  Since they weren't just rattling off statistics or researched facts the whole time, I wanted to read their blogs since the issue had personally effected them. The first blog was written a little more formal though, but maybe that's because she was mom and offered tons of information on the issue of teen drinking and when to look for it or how to talk about it. The second wasn't as formal, being written by a college student who lived through the issue in college but didn't partake in the drinking herself.  She gave her own tips on how she stayed away from the drinking but was still able to enjoy herself.  I think this one would resonate with younger drinkers since they would be able to relate to her more due a smaller age-gap. The third one was written by the editor of the journal and to my surprise she wasn't long winded at all.  Hers had the most personal feel with different stories adding to the statistics of underage drinking.  And she was realistic about how teens will drink, so it's up to parents to help them learn responsible drinking.  

As far as the overall look of the blogs go, the first two offered pictures between every paragraph or every-other, and the second one also included concise large print mini-sentences to grab the reader's attention and give her an idea of what the next paragraph would be about.  I really liked that because it was eye-appealing, grabbed my attention and also broke up the entirety of the blog smoothly and made it more reader friendly. The third had no pictures or major breaks, but like I mentioned before had more stories involved which helped me transition from paragraph to paragraph without needing anything to  add more space between them.

I would probably stick to reading the third blogger's blog because hers was the most fun to read.  It had a lot of information in it, but the way she presented it wasn't like she was "shoving it down my throat." She was easy-going in giving her statistics and how she looked at underage drinking, so I imagine the rest of her blogs would be written in the same manner about other health risks and issues.  The other two were still very well written, and I did enjoy how they broke theirs up with pictures and what not, but I felt like they had an attitude of (think the voice of the gym teacher in Mean Girls): Don't drink.  You will get drunk and die." 

I'm not saying it isn't a serious issue, because it is, but the editor of the nurse journal was more realistic in giving helpful tips for safe drinking rather than trying to take it out of the equation completely. Because lets me honest, if you tell teens they aren't allowed to do it guess what?  They are going to try their hardest to get their hands on it.

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