How is Social Media Affecting Its Users During Coronavirus Quarantines?
Needless to say, the Coronavirus has brought out both the best and worst in humanity. There are stories of both themes, stories of kindness and sacrifice as well as stories of abuse and of deceit. Why do these stories matter? The answer is simple: the world is watching.
Because we’ve all been confined within our homes, with nothing much to do, most people are relying – even more than before – on the internet for information and communication. As if we weren’t addicted enough to social media platforms before the pandemic, the need to isolate ourselves from mass gatherings is causing people to spend more time on social media platforms than ever. Now, it’s important to observe how this prolonged exposure to social media affects people, not just so we’re able to identify problems, but also so that we’re able to suggest how to use social media properly during this pandemic.
Social Media As An Information Source
As previously stated, the pandemic has forced the majority of us to confine ourselves within our homes. Businesses have closed, classes have been suspended, and workplaces have been forced to adopt a work-from-home model or cease operations completely. As such, the vast majority of people rely on the internet for news and information about the pandemic.
This is important in disseminating information that is relevant to helping people prevent the disease from spreading within their homes. This is especially true considering the fact that a lot of people use social media as their main source of information.
However, social media can also be misused as a medium to spread misinformation and fake news that is designed to manipulate people into acting in a particular manner or to discredit an opposing political party.
A Communication Medium
Since we also rely heavily on our support systems, social media has become a vital means to communicate with our friends and family. It enables us to maintain our relationships during these difficult times, as it always has. In some cases, it can even help us build new relationships.
Sadly, social media, too, can be a source for animosity between family members, especially when conversations and contexts are sprinkled with political differences. A difference in political opinion can easily create a rift between two people who hold different opinions on important matters, and social media is the platform that makes it easy for such a scenario to happen.
Source Of Anxiety
Another thing to consider is the fact that social media has long been a source for anxiety for many people, especially if they feel the need to appeal to others. The same is ever truer during a pandemic, when our public image is mostly online. Social media platforms are also notorious for cyberbullying and trolling.
It’s also easy to lose touch with reality on social media, which is also why it’s good to disconnect from Facebook and Instagram once in a while. Some will even go as far as to recommend that you delete your Instagram account and your Facebook account as a measure to ensure that your privacy is protected.
The internet is a useful tool and is arguably the best invention of the past few decades. However, like all tools, it is also subject to misuse and overuse. With this in mind, it’s important to use social media in moderation.