Lately, it seems like all "scientific" studies seem to only be good for two things: learning that dumb stuff you already knew was true is true, and learning that good/bad behavior is the opposite of what you expect it to be. Appropriately, two new studies fall into each category quite comfortably: according to a new report by Drugfree.org, teenagers don't think binge drinking is a big deal. And according to a new study by the University of Copenhagen, wasting time browsing the internet might be good for your job!
In the duh category, we have this new study about teenagers. More than 45 percent of teens surveyed didn't think binge drinking, defined as having five-or-more drinks at a time on a regular basis, was a big deal. More than 60 percent of teens, always a particularly conscientious group, say their number one reason they imbibe is because “it’s fun to drink", if you could believe that. Interestingly, one in three teens said they drank "to forget their troubles," one in four teens said they used alcohol to help "deal with problems at home," and one in five teens said they drank to “deal with the pressures and stress of school"—all of which suggest that major problems which are not being dealt with at home are what is spurring them toward drinking and experimenting more than ever.
Of course, this is not a huge surprise in NYC, where the majority of the population are excessive drinkers anyway, according to a study last winter. But let us also not forget a study from last summer which told us that drinkers outlive nondrinkers! The Drugfree.org study also found a 67 percent increase in the number of teens who reported using Ecstasy in the past year, and a 22 percent increase in the amount who have tried marijuana.
As for adults, it's pretty clear that the internet is their alcohol, marijuana and ecstasy all rolled into one. But this may not be so bad after all—the University of Copenhagen's study compared the work efficiency of people who watched a funny internet video before performing a task with a group who did not watch a video...and they found that the internet junkies were more productive at their tasks after enjoying themselves a little.
The New Yorker suggests from this that companies should give their employees "Internet breaks," during which they're free to do whatever they like, something which Google already does. If you're really lucky, you can end up working for a place that pays you to browse the internet all day.