As many of us are aware, this is hardly the first pandemic to have swept across the globe. However, during past outbreaks, social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter had not yet been developed. I believe I speak for the majority of social media users when I say that my activity on social media has sky rocketed since the COVID-19 outbreak. According to Vox.com, there have been a total of 19 millions mentions of the corona virus across social media and other related news sites in the past 24 hours alone.
In regards to the corona virus out break, social media has served our population in a positive and negative fashion. Social media has given users a platform to express their anxieties and stresses to an audience that can sympathize and relate to their concerns. On the other hand, social media has served to be a platform for sensationalism and the spread of misinformation which has fed into the growth of this worldwide panic. I have found myself asking, what would this pandemic in which we are living through be like if we did not have social media? Has the circulation of anxiety and panic in some ways helped our population take this matter seriously?
One quote that really stuck out to me by Jen Schradie was “I don’t think that the internet is a threat, existential or otherwise, to democracy because I still see it as a tool, which can be used for good or ill.” I believe amidst this pandemic, the internet and social media has been a tool primarily used for good. The circulation of information regarding charities, promotions for local businesses and various platforms for community engagement has been very extremely effective. In more ways than not, I see media bringing people together. I believe we are seeing the potential for good that is being utilized with social media and I hope to see this trend continue upwards after we defeat this pandemic. Hope whoever is reading this is getting to enjoy time with loved ones and staying safe in your 6 foot bubble!