Social Media and the Pandemic

Social+Media+and+the+Pandemic

Sonali Blair, Journalist

Social media in some sense has always been deemed toxic by many people, considering how much people get addicted to it easily. However, in times of crises like these, it is an important outlet for many to stay connected to friends and family. Social media platforms have officially taken over this generation, however mainly those in middle school, high school, and college students. Yet, many have taken to social media to express their opinions on the virus with many of them not only being the younger generation but the adults as well. In this time, social media has managed to connect millions of people simply through texting over a myriad of platforms or by sending entertaining posts that others would find funny. In other words, social media platforms have single-handedly conquered the world, arguably being considered an indispensable tool at this point. 

Social media has had a huge impact on people’s daily lives, somewhat being a part of a person’s daily life more often than it was before. For example, people are gravitating towards social media in the mornings in order to inform themselves through news outlets, talk to people regularly, and entertain themselves with relatable posts so, in a sense, it can be said that these outlets have always had an enormous impact on people’s lives however the level has simply just been raised. While interviewing some friends/classmates they found that “[they] are on social media a lot more than before the virus” and that they “refresh Instagram all the time.” Additionally, another classmate/friend said that she is equally “on social media a lot more, but [she] mostly watch[es] videos on Instagram about crafts and baking.” Although it has become more of a concerning addiction during these times, it has also helped people stay in contact with friends and family members. More so than ever, social media is equally as good of a communication outlet as is iMessage or phone calls. Because people have more time on their hands, social media has been able to have that strong impact on people since it is our only tool of–to some extent–social interaction other than FaceTime. It has also equally revealed why social media has had this extreme impact on us: “[W]e have nothing else to do [other] than live through other people’s lives,” thinks one of my friends/classmates. 

Social media has taken over the world to a point that it has spread entertaining posts as fast as the virus has. 

We all know social media is a place for entertainment, where funny posts no less swarm those platforms, so this comedic relief many have turned to has now reached a new level of relatable and hilarious. Once this virus had reached a point of fear and concern, it was bound to happen that the social media world would soon release both relatable and entertaining posts about the coronavirus and self-isolation. However, now that we have moved further into this home isolation period, the virus has, of course, spread faster and therefore is more dangerous. With this, people, as mentioned previously, have not risen to the occasion and stayed home but have rather made plans with their friends to go hiking. Do not get me wrong, exercise is important at this time, especially for the people who binge eat which we all know is everyone right now. However, hiking with friends on a consistent basis without protective face gear and without staying more than six feet apart can create more problems than we had yesterday. With that said, social media actually rose to the occasion where people started posting almost passive-aggressive thoughts on these people going out, those people mostly being high school kids. Some examples are: “Stay at home! I have plans for June, July, and August” or “If I see one more group of high schoolers go out on a hike with friends while I stay home and put together puzzles with my family I am going to lose it!” These are only examples of similar posts I came across that I thought were quite funny but equally got the message across of simply saying “Stop going outside and hiking with your friends. Stay home.” Many more posts with captions such as these have managed to swarm the internet and have actually calmed the situation down, considering I have not seen a large group of high school students recently go out on hikes. It is admittedly quite amazing that as a society, even in times like these, we have to be reminded about the obvious through the internet: hanging out with others is not social distancing. 

These times are hard, trust me we all know. I have come across more than enough public social interactions with groups of people that have been documented and posted intentionally on social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. Yet, I have come across a lot of social media posts that vocalize why we should stay home and why social distancing is necessary right now. Social media, it can be said, has many positives with the ability to communicate with others as well as an ability to entertain one’s self. But just remember, if you think it would be harmless to plan a small get-together with your friend group for the first time since this self-isolation mode has started, it isn’t and it won’t be until it has been declared. So, maybe work-out, go on social media platforms, watch movies, pick a new hobby, do your work and come out someone who has admittedly watched all new Netflix series’ and movies.