The American spring break, both in reality and in popular entertainment, has long been source of great debauchery, and rumors about great debauchery.

The coed from Ohio State who goes to Cancun, parties at Senor Frogs, has several sexual encounters, and throws up every day, is a recognizable tale. So much so that many college students think that’s essentially what Spring Break is.

Now, it turns out, Spring Break is getting tame. That’s because, thanks to Facebook, everyone will know what you do in Cancun or Daytona Beach now. According to an article by Lizette Alvarez in the New York Times:

At Sloppy Joe’s [in Key West], a bartender, Ashley McCauley, said the students, who mingle with families and bikers here, are better behaved, although she has no idea why. “They are more polite and they wait their turn,” she said, with a grin. “One in 10 still acts like spring breakers, but it’s definitely calmer than when I was on spring break in 2004.”

While she’s not sure why, it probably has a lot to do with social media. Alvarez:

Today’s spring breakers — at least some of them — say they have been tamed, in part, not by parents or colleges or the fed-up cities they invade, but by the hand-held gizmos they hold dearest and the fear of being betrayed by an unsavory, unsanctioned photo or video popping up on Facebook or YouTube.

Late one March evening at Rick’s Bar on rum-soaked Duval Street, college students alternated Jell-O shots with iPhone shots. “We are very, very reserved,” said Mia Klein, 22, a University of Connecticut senior from Amityville, N.Y., who stood around a table at Rick’s with friends and cups of beer. “You don’t want to have to defend yourself later, so you don’t do it.” The “it” being get sloppy, word-slurring drunk in an unvetted crowd.

One Georgia student, perhaps taking this caution a little too far, explained that when she was at the beach she would “put my beer can down, out of the picture every time. I do worry about Facebook. I just know I need a job eventually.” [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer