Today’s Social Media Habits Amidst COVID-19
Technology runs the world. It’s the Digital Era, for goodness sake.
People of all ages, locations, and walks of life congregate on the internet, primarily through social media. Nearly 3.6 billion people worldwide use social media, and that number is only growing, especially in the face of COVID-19. Despite how often a user may have been utilizing the internet pre-COVID, an overwhelming majority of people have had to up their screen time given the circumstances.
Between remote learning, working from home, lack of social gatherings, and the closure of entertainment venues such as bars, movie theatres, concerts, arcades, and bowling alleys (yes, some of us were still going to bowling alleys), there was nowhere left but a virtual world for people to maintain connectedness.
Social media has even been one of the primary sources young people have used to learn and talk about the coronavirus pandemic. We have seen young people across the globe storm social media to raise awareness about coronavirus containment, coordinate relief efforts for people in isolation, and raise funds for emergency workers.
What is the Social Media Infodemic?
More people on the internet equals more information on the internet. More information on the internet equals more misinformation on the internet.
Welcome to the social media infodemic. You may not think you’re a part of it, but consensus says you probably are.
In fact, several sources suggest that close to 50% of what’s on the internet, including the people, the websites, and the information, is simply not legit.
Imagine living in a world where half of everything you see is fake. Fake ficus trees everywhere. Is it a bird or a government drone? Who knows? It sounds a little scary, not going to lie.
That’s dealing with an obvious fakeness, whereas detecting fakeness on the internet is much more complex. The smoke and mirrors have gotten really high tech. AR and VR have both reached new heights, making some things seem 100%, undeniably legit. Sharing content on social media, where most of the content is user generated, has become a trust game.
With so much information, how does one decipher what is true?
How to Create High-Quality Social Media Habits
The higher quality of content, the higher quality your social media habits need to be. What this means is, to navigate a social media infodemic, you must put more care and consideration into your actions on the internet.
- Fact check yourself. Before you share a post with information that is of value, do a quick Google search to see how that information lines up with other sources. (We’re not talking about Pinterest quotes or cat memes. Please, share those all day, every day, no hesitation.) Somewhere in your search will you be able to piece together the truth.
- Don’t blindly share posts. Before you share, consider who will see your post. Think about the impact a message may have on your audience. Social networks give us all an audience, and it is our responsibility to make sure we are representing ourselves for who we truly are. Don’t let the desire to share information you believe in keep you from being empathetic or considerate of others.
- Take a break when you can. The internet is the city that never sleeps. Therefore, it will be there when you get back. Remember to take time to reconnect with yourself. Remember what you value. Remember the type of social interactions that bring you joy. Remember that social media is a massive part of our lives (which is exciting and opens so many doors), but it doesn’t have to be your entire life.
A Political Movement Amongst A Social Media Infodemic
Following the murder of George Floyd, a social movement across the world erupted. The widespread impact was largely a result of social media and the way it connects people without borders. The social media infodemic comes into play here as well, as videos of police brutality have been shared across the internet.
We have the resources to make change through social media. Still, it is also our responsibility as social media users to protect others who may be more sensitive to such content, especially our children and young adults.
This influx of information forces us to walk a fine line between facing hard truths and exposing ourselves to the genuine horrors of the world.
Where Social Media and Mental Health Collide
With continuous information, we must do what we can to best protect the mental well-being of ourselves and others. Overexposure to social media is very real. Trying to take in so much information all of the time would make anyone overwhelmed.
Here’s the thing: social media isn’t going anywhere. Yes, one can take a step back from social media, but what if we looked at taking it a step further?
Fostering the well-being of our peers through social media is a superpower we now possess. How can we create communities and encourage conversations that create a genuine sense of connectedness via social media? And how we can advocate for the truth while being considerate of the mental health of our peers.
The Herd app is one example of how women are working to create a social media platform for women to still engage via social media without too many misinformation worries, as it advocates for authentic living.
Dear Pandemic, a group of women with PhDs and MDS have created a team to check information regarding the coronavirus, advocating for the idea of “stay safe, stay sane.”
People across the internet are attempting to focus on the positive aspects of social media and are attempting to foster an environment that is truthful yet approachable.
To best navigate the social media infodemic, be one of those people. Encourage honesty. Take a step back when needed. Love yourself. Love others. And celebrate your ability to stay connected to the world from your kitchen table.
A Business Owner’s Look at the Social Media Infodemic
As a social media marketing firm, we know the ins and outs of social media strategies. We understand the calculated, but we know that the most impact is made by the thoughtful. Part of your job as a business owner is not only personal awareness but brand awareness. Consider the message you put into the world through your brand.
At Gravity Junction, we specialize in helping you make the connection between what you care about and your business. One of our jobs’ best parts is helping foster the connection brands have with their “why” and helping brands express their “why” to others.
Let us help you express what you love to your audience and take your brand supanova. Contact us today.