By APRIL GEORGE
It’s a scene that plays out many times. A student visits three or four bars, then goes home and logs onto Facebook, ensuring that a few moments of drunken stupidity will be forever immortalized on the Internet.
Intoxicated posts follow similar patterns. Users announce their state of intoxication, then post silly, crude and sometimes downright abusive messages. Regret sets in the next morning, when they view their posts in the cold light of day.
Now, thanks to teamwork from an Internet security company and an advertising company, Internet users can say goodbye to posting under the influence.
Webroot and TDA Advertising & Design have released a Social Media Sobriety Test just in time for the holidays—the main time of year when people fall prey to intoxicated Web browsing due to freely flowing alcohol at parties.
The test is designed as the ultimate bad idea protector. Its main purpose is to prevent embarrassing posts.
After users download the free application, they can apply settings for the hours they personally feel most vulnerable, to the social networks of their choosing.
An example: a user downloads the test and determines he is most susceptible between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. He blocks Facebook and Twitter during those hours.
Once the customization is in place, users must pass a randomly selected test when they attempt to log in. Tests vary from “drag your mouse in a straight line” to “type the alphabet backwards.”
If users pass, they can log into their profiles normally. The program randomly retests when users refresh pages or click links.
If users fail the sobriety test, they are given a chance to try again. If they fail a second time, the Sobriety Test prevents them from logging on until after the specified end-time. Another alternative is to bypass the second test by selecting an “I’m not drunk” option.
“In the old days, all you had to worry about was drunk dialing,” said Jeremy Seibold, a TDA associate creative director who helped design the test.
“A randomly placed call to an ex was certainly embarrassing, but it was limited to him/her and maybe a few friends,” he added. “Today, the consequences of a stupid blog post or an ill-advised photo can be instantaneously spread around the globe.”
Siebold said TDA and Webroot partnered on the test “as a public service to anyone who enjoys beer, wine or spirits, but doesn’t enjoy the over-sharing that often accompanies one too many.”
For more information or to download the application, visit www.socialmediasobrietytest.com. The test is compatible with all major Internet browsers.