March 11, 2011

Alcohol and Privacy

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 1:44 pm

By: Dylan Schnormeier

House parties and frat parties are a big part of college for many students. Parties are all about dancing, friends, having a good time, and drinking. Dancing and having a good time are not the problem though. Drinking is a huge part of these parties. Why does that matter though? Drinking can cause people to lose control of what they say. Sure people slur their speech when they are extremely hammered but that is not the focus of this. Losing control of what they say means they will say things they might not have meant to say or call someone they might not have wanted to call. It also causes people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. Families can get torn apart. Girls can get taken advantage of because of this. Let’s get started with digging into some of these situations.

People often tell their friends things and trust them to keep their mouth shut and not tell anyone else. This information might be hurtful to a friend or might get the person in trouble. When the person that hears this gets drunk, he or she might accidentally let this information slip. If it is told to another drunk person, then it might not be a big deal. However, if this is told to a sober person, this information can spread quickly. This could result in a friendship being ruined or a person getting into serious trouble. Alcohol impairs judgment and this results in people saying things they don’t mean. I’ve heard from many people that they have screwed things up with a friend because of a drunken comment they made. It doesn’t have to be a comment that was made face to face though.

I have heard many stories about drunk dialing and drunk texting. This is one way that people might say something they don’t mean or ruin a friendship. Let’s look at a situation. Jimmy is a freshman in college. His parents are paying for his tuition and everything so he has to listen to them and obey them if they don’t want him to do something. His parents have strict rules about underage drinking and partying and that sort of stuff. One night, Jimmy goes to a party and gets completely hammered. He accidentally calls his mom because he can’t clearly see his phone screen and he starts talking to her. She finds out that he is drunk. That’s the end of college for Jimmy until he can hold down a job and pay for it himself. This could completely change his life. He may never be able to save up enough money or have the time to go back to college. He got stuck in a job that didn’t make him happy and he made just enough money to pay the bills. This is all because of one mistake he made that was caused by alcohol.

Sometimes people are put in situations that take their privacy away completely. Studies show that if a man and a woman of equal size drink the same amount, the woman will typically have a higher BAC. Guys will sometimes take advantage of girls by first getting them drunk. When this happens, the girls’ privacy is completely taken away from them because of the alcohol. Alcohol kills consent but that doesn’t stop guys. Alcohol might cause a girl to trust a guy that she just met. If she trusts him too much, her life might be changed forever. The event might scar her for life. This doesn’t have to just impact the girls life though, the life of the guy might change drastically too. He might have to go to jail because of it or pay child support. This might also cause him to lose friendships and even some family might never forgive him.

There isn’t much actual information on how alcohol affects a person’s privacy. There is much information on what alcohol does to the brain and the rest of the body but not how it actually changes a person’s view on privacy. I guess this would always be different for each person since everyone is different. The bottom line is that alcohol can really mess up a life, even end a life. I’ve heard too much about people that die from alcohol. People just need to have some form of self-control when consuming it. Self-control can prevent most of this stuff from happening.


  1. Michael J Harrington
    I agree with the premise of this post, that it is up to the individual to watch how much they drink and be personally responsible for their actions. But theres many other reasons for my belief than that a drinker could accidently call his parents or say secrets to people they shouldnt. The point that girls in particular need to pay attention to the quantitiy that they drink so they aren’t taken advantage of is a very good point…but why should men be responsible for drinking? As I said before, I don’t buy the prior reasons. But there are some very blatent reasons why to be a responsible drinker (or not drink).
    1-Legal reasons: It’s illegal for people under 21 to drink (obviously) and although the police don’t always enforce this as strictly as other laws, they will under some conditions, such as is the drunk individual is driving, destroying property, being otherwise destructive,or breaking other laws. The fact that the individual is drunk will compound with any of those reasons to put the drinker in a worse overall position.
    2-Health Detriments-I understand this paper was about privacy issues but I still feel like this point deserves mentioning, as it is a huge part of the outcry against alcohol. Alcohol destroys your liver and many other parts of your body. There is also research out there documenting that alcohol can cause cancer. But moderate drinking actually can have health benefits (a glass of wine with dinner type thing). But the worst physical danger is that you can overdose on alcohol. I hear your crys of dissent, and yes, yes you can overdose on alcohol and die. Ever heard of alcohol poisening? Yup…keep going and you’re dead.
    3-Alcohol costs a lot. Even if you drink 7 natural lights (the cheapest of cheap beers) a weekend ( which is quite a bit less than most college kids do) you’ll still pay over $250 a year (20ish (the price of a case of natural light) divided by 4 (there’s 30 beers in a case) times 50 (we’ll give you 2 weekends off) in most cases. Thats a good bit of change for alcohol. Imagine if you didn’t stop yourself at that 7 beer mark.

    But good article overall.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 11, 2011 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  2. Danny Meyer

    Obviously, there are so many negatives to alcohol it’s ridiculous. Yes, people say stupid things when they are drink. People do stupid things when they are drunk. People regret so many things they do when they are drunk. Yet, that is because they are out of control. Alcohol can actually be a very good thing if it’s used in the right way. Think about it this way. There’s this girl that this guy has always wanted to talk to. He’ll never ever even attempt to or think about doing it though. Yet, he sees here at a party, and he’s been drinking a little bit. He just decides to forget about any worries and just try it. It happens that way. It may not be a good thing to rely on alcohol to be social but it does build confidence. I do agree with you about when it is used in excess. I cannot stand people that drink to black out. They just look like idiots. But drinking a smart amount can always be a fun time.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 11, 2011 @ 5:56 pm | Reply

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