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Impact of social media during the time of Pandemic

Impact of social media during the time of Pandemic

‘Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there is a picture with a quote next to it. – Abraham Lincoln

What is social media?

Social Media refers to the media through which people can stay connected socially. It is any digital platform that permits users to quickly create and share content with the public. Social media includes a broad range of websites and applications. One of them is Twitter, which specializes in sharing links and short written messages. For apps such as Instagram, it is built to optimize the sharing of photos and videos, and LinkedIn is specially built to showcase your professional or academic life. 

One of the major problems with social media is that it is unregulated. Many social media companies have imposed some limitations, such as posting images that display violence, hatred, or nudity. Anyone who is having internet access can sign up for a social media account. They can use that account to share whatever content they want to share with the public and the content they share can reach anyone who visits their page or profile on that social media app.

How social media works?

Social media comprises various types of websites and applications. The functions and uses of these websites also vary from one to another. All social media applications start with the user creating his or her profile and then by providing a name or an email address.

After the profile has been created by the new user, he or she can create and share content which he or she is willing to share with the public. The users on social media can find other users whose content they want to follow and comment on. Social media applications have the feature of feeds that allow users to scroll through the content of their interest. Social media companies are using algorithms that are based on the profile data of the user to determine the content that appears on the feed in the application of that user. The feed of the user includes that content which the user has followed and it also includes promotions by different pages.

Role of social media during the time of Pandemic: -

1. A source of information (and misinformation)

Covid-19 has been the first global pandemic during the time of social media. The government and even some brands are using social media to help people with a better understanding of events and their consequences. But unfortunately, some people are also using social media to fool or deceive other people.

Many times, it is seen that people believe in false messages on social media and end up wasting their money or there is a major personal loss. The location of the culprit is usually tracked by their IP Address on social media.

Now in this Pandemic time, differentiating between trustworthy and non-trustworthy sources on social media has become more important than ever. It has become challenging to find trusted sources of information that can give information about Covid-19. The perfect thumb rule for ensuring the information on social media is to check the originality of sources and to make sure that the sources are trustworthy. If we are posting any content on social media, then it is our duty or responsibility to check the trustworthiness and accuracy of the content posted. People are having the habit of easily getting influenced by social media.

2. Influences public response to the outbreak

Social media is costly to use and we can all share our opinions regarding the pandemic through various social media platforms. We have seen many individuals and organizations during this covid-19 pandemic that are using social media to spread awareness about the virus and as well as the necessary precautions to be taken. Social media is the cheapest and faster way to spread awareness about something publicly.

These days social distancing and home quarantine are in trend. Before covid-19, many of us have not even heard about social distancing. Social distancing refers to the condition of staying 6 feet away from the other person which helps in preventing the spread of any infection. Lockdown Fatigue is one of the major consequences of being home quarantined which is further having many negative aspects.

3. A marketing platform

It is very easy to promote any product on social media. Many companies are using social media as their main source of marketing. It has also been noticed that businesses are paying more attention to emerging trends that increase search volume for products like face masks and sanitizers. Many companies have also responded to this increased demand by getting diverted from their previous product to produce these highly demanded products. For example, the alcoholic company- Anheuser Busch shifted from beer to making hand sanitizers.

Brands these days are getting more focused on social responsibility with product marketing. Many companies are providing powerful and positive responses to covid-19. They are recognising their main responsibility or duty to contribute to the safety and well-being of the public.

4. A way to pass time and reduce boredom

Firstly, no social media platform is perfect. Along with true information, misinformation also circulates on social media. Social media gives us the ability to share our achievements and experiences with friends and family in a digital way. It helps in tolerating the isolation of being home quarantined and it also reminds us that we are all together in this tough time.

After an initial challenging period, many people start embracing quarantine culture on social media. Posts from people being quarantined at home ranging from videos of the living room to yoga to pictures of their pets who were thrilled to have their owners with them 24/7. It is a nice way to pass time without getting bored the whole day sitting at home.

5. Digital Way of Fundraising and Donation

Social media is very helpful to do fundraising by the NGOs which are working for the welfare of the people. Social media is also working as a source of asking for help publicly. Various social welfare organizations have used social media on a large level to raise their funds and to help the people in need.

Crowdfunding has become a major source to collect a large number of funds in the least possible time. It is a way to ask for a generally small amount of money from a large number of people. Asking for donations and being a part of it is easily possible on social media in this digital world. 


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Tags: #socialmedia #pandemic #covid #media #india #lockdown #communication


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