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The power of the media in a time of crisis

When covid-19 was declared a national pandemic my view of the media changed from being something that was important to keep up with to something that was crucial for me to follow in order to keep my family and myself healthy. Without the media no one would understand the importance of social distancing not just for one’s own sake, but for everyone else around them. Lots of young people including some of my friends first ignored all of the talk about the virus because they were told that their immune systems could fight it off. Now that the media is stressing that young people can in fact become severely ill from this virus, and be carriers without knowing, more are listening. Once the media shared that more older people are dying because young people showing no symptoms were still going out, younger people started to self-quarantine. The actions of the general population in regards to what the media was telling us to do really shows how much power they have to control us. Yes, the government did give certain advisories in different hotspots, but it was mostly the fear that the media created that caused people to listen. 

In terms of remote learning, my workload has been lessened because all of my classes were discussion based, so now that we can’t have actual class I have much more time to do other things. I have tried cooking new recipes and I play with my dog a lot outside, but I still find myself being drawn to my social media accounts. The constant stream of new information about the virus affecting our nation and memes created in effort to help everyone cope is addicting and hard to put away. My urge to check my phone for Corona updates connects with how teens felt about myspace in Boyd’s article. “Teens often turn to sites like MySpace for entertainment; social voyeurism passes time while providing insight into society at large.” 

Works Cited

boyd, danah. (2007) “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life.” MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning – Youth, Identity, and Digital
Media Volume (ed. David Buckingham). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Page 10