Role of Social Media during Pandemic

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Today as the entire world falls apart and mankind is on the verge of insanity the only thing that keeps humans somewhat sane and okay is social media. It is a highly debated topic whether the role of social media is making our situation during a global pandemic better or worse. 

The answer is subjective based on one's mindset and outlook. But realistically social media is or rather has become one of the most crucial part of life.


The Role of Social Media – the Positive Side

Due to the deadly virus lurking among the shadows we as responsible citizens must maintain social distancing and take utmost care of ourselves and those around us. The role of social media social media is extremely useful and important in these circumstances.

As it is not possible for the newspaper boy to deliver our daily newspaper at our doorstep social media has been the one that provides us with news and daily updates. Realistically I today's modern world social media has replaced newspapers completely.

Not that it wasn't doing that job before the pandemic but its importance and usefulness are shining bright now as it is the need of the hour for quick and faster updates. 

 Apart from that social media is also helping us retain our relationship with the people who matter the most to us while maintaining social distancing. It allows us to spread love and positivity during this time where everybody is on the edge and feels threatened by an invisible virus. 

Moreover, it also does the job of keeping us entertained.


The role of social media – The Negative Side       

It doesn't stop on rainbows and sunshine. Social media in today's crises can be said as being hyperactive. The other part and easily the bigger part of social media is hate speech, fake news, addiction, fraud and much more. The social media users have been experiencing this part quite often.

As if corona itself wasn't enough to make us panic, the whole concept of fake news has appeared. Fake news has been a real pest during these months as many ignorant and insensitive people find peace and serenity by spreading fake news or rumors and making others panic. 

Rumors have caused people to panic,  made them mentally disturbed, anxious and caused many businesses to suffer high losses.

The list is endless. Also nowadays it is very common to see people make personal attacks and participate in spreading hate speeches against a specific religious group or ethnicity.

There is a lack of understanding that during these tough times we need to stand together as humans to fight this virus and maintain peace. But as social media lacks in many regions with poor guidelines and censorship it has rather become easy to spread hate daily.


How Social Media affects our Mental Health

While scrolling through social media we unknowingly started comparing ourselves to all the people we see online. This behavior can be quite toxic because we start hating ourselves and our bodies. A feeling of negativity springs in our heart and soul. We almost end up being a pessimist.

Due to quarantine, we spend a lot of time on social media thus, becoming mentally disturbed or depressed is much easier. Whether we believe it or not, excessive use of social media during this period is heavily damaging our minds. 

We are leaning towards more negative thoughts than the positive once. It is in the real sense a competitive media. We just need to think about what is better for us to live a peaceful and comfortable life.


How Social Media Affects Our Productivity                

Due to quarantine, we seem to have a lot of free time and we choose to spend on social media scrolling and liking every social media post with #quarantinelife. We watch other people doing tasks of productivity and post snippets of it. We just watch them be productive and we do nothing.

 But in reality, all we have to do is get off those screens and do something that makes us happy and feels productive. It is easy to be productive as well as a social media addict. Out of these two choices, we choose the latter because it's easy and much entertaining. 

Among these, some people take advantage of our vulnerability and our obvious addiction. That advantage is online fraud, an easy way to trick people in multiple ways and even though we are aware of the truth, we still fall prey to such activities. 

Social media frauds can be seen more often now because lack of jobs and income has made people desperate. Thus, having no choice left they turn to social media frauds as way to get money. Online frauds have created fear among the social media users.


The Choice Is in Our Hands

In conclusion to these great and horrific roles that social media plays, ultimately it is for us to decide which path we want to follow. Do we want to be a responsible and considerate person/citizen or just to be an ignorant, pretentious and a foolish person on the internet who does nothing to contribute towards the betterment but rather spreads hate and false truths. 

Finally in the end whatever we choose we must make sure that we don't want to be a fool because whatever goes online stays online. This reminds me of a quote that Erin Bury said goes like this ‘don't say anything online that you wouldn't want to be plastered on a billboard with your face on it".


Written by - Lirica Machado

Edited by – Adrija Saha

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