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The year 2020 is undoubtedly one of the most horrible years that we, as a collective, are living through. Actually, it’s more like we’re suffering through it. As we’ve taken to social distancing to protect ourselves from the novel coronavirus, social media has become an even more integral part of our lives.
The past few months have witnessed not just us but also the older generation learning how to work on Zoom for office meetings, getting comfortable with video calls, and ordering essentials like groceries online.
So we cannot possibly deny that social media has proved to be an extremely important part of our lives during this pandemic. It has definitely made social distancing more bearable. Moreover, social media has been effective in terms of transmitting what precautions to take, their importance and updates about the progress of the pandemic.
We’re using social media more now than ever
Over time the use of social media has increased even more than what it used to be pre-coronavirus times. The problematic part is that each time we open an app, we come across sensationalised news about the doom of our planet. There has been a rise in the misinformation about coronavirus, especially on social media, which adds to our stress of living in a time when life has been usurped by uncertainty.
A research conducted by Pew Research Center prior to the pandemic had noted that viewing and becoming aware about stressful events through social media can increase one’s stress levels.
In the case of coronavirus, many of us are experiencing this first-hand as we come across news of a declining economy, rising number of deaths and delays in the discovery of a vaccine or cure.
What’s more, the misinformation about this virus and its spread that people are consuming through misleading content on their social media is giving rise to conspiracy theories that range from blaming particular groups for covid-19 to establishing that wearing masks is propaganda by the government which is violative of one’s rights.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, “Misinformation creates confusion, and spreads fear, hampering the outbreak response. Misinformation on the coronavirus might be the most contagious thing about it.”
Reduce your time on social media for better mental health
In such a situation, it can only be said that one needs moderation with social media. Too much of anything is bad and the same applies to the different apps that we have been using amidst the pandemic. The times we’re living in are such that are causing excessive stress while also demanding that we stay equipped with the correct information to protect ourselves.
If you’ve been using too much social media, we say you take a small break or use it in a more monitored way to ensure that it doesn’t raise your anxiety levels and you stay updated about any new developments.