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COVID-19: How is it affecting our social media intake?

Over the course of the past month, the only topic that seems to be on anyone’s mind is COVID-19. Whether it is Twitter, Instagram, or Tik Tok, COVID-19 is almost always the main focus of a post. For example, on Instagram over the past few days there has been a variety of challenges circulating such as the pushup challenge. The goal of the pushup challenge is to try to promote people to exercise while in quarantine. Due to the tremendous number of posts regarding these trends, I have noticed that people are using social media even more than usual in this past month or so. People are lonely, bored, or sick of being around the same people 24/7. Social media is the way that people feel like they are still in contact with the outside world. In Danah Boyd’s “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life” she says that “Teens join MySpace to maintain connections with their friends” (Danah Boyd, pg. 10). This quote is spot on for me personally because the majority of my college friends live far away from me, and seeing them post things on social media is a way for me to stay in touch. Also, with limited things to do, time passes by much slower. Boyd touches upon this in her piece when she talks about how “Teens often turn to sites like MySpace for entertainment; social voyeurism passes time while providing insight into society at large” (Boyd, 10). This quote stood out to me because whenever I am bored, I open up Tik Tok and scroll through videos until I am no longer satisfied. Although this is not much different than usual, I have become more dependent on apps like Tik Tok more recently because I have less things to do during the day. As a result, I have noticed that social media, especially this past month, has been huge to help people receive news, relieve boredom, and a multitude of other problems they are facing with in their lives.

References:

Boyd, Danah. “Why Youth Heart Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life.” 2017, doi:10.31219/osf.io/22hq2.

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