SOCIAL MEDIA- A LIFELINE DURING COVID-19
COVID-19 gave a clear reflection on how unpredictable situations can arise and disrupt every human activity. The outbreak not only affected the economy, trade, and revenue growth but it also had major psychological effects. According to the World Health Organisation,” levels of loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol, and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behavior are also expected to rise”.
People Fear The Unknown
Apart from panic buying, shortage of masks, an increase in the level of anxiety was also visible, especially in senior citizens. People were uncertain about their jobs, their upcoming plans, and their business. Moreover, there was no plan of action for a person who is tested positive with COVID — 19.
Newspapers were abandoned in most of the homes as it was believed that they could be potential carriers of the virus. Many people including senior citizens got dependent on social media platforms for news and virus-related information. Online engagements on different social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook were at its peak.
Market research firm Nielsen said social media volume saw a whopping 50X surge between January and March in India in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Citizens around the world were forced to change their lifestyles and work from home was no longer a perk. Work from home culture was adapted sooner or later by every other organization. Exercising and self-care became a major part of “qua-routine”.
Social media played a very effective role in providing verified information about the virus and also disregard misleading sources of information. People from all walks of life were engaging themselves in webinars and podcasts by doctors and medical experts.
As the lockdown coincided with the harvesting season many farmers had tonnes of harvested crops but had no buyers. This is when, Ruchit Garg, an entrepreneur who started an account on twitter by the name of ‘Harvesting Farmer Network’ that connected farmers directly with customers. Harvesting Farmer Network is a great success and gives farmers respectable prices for their products.
Social media was used effectively to raise funds for daily wagers and migrant laborers. Several construction companies and businesspeople gathered data of laborers in need. Food supplies, distribution of masks, and money transfer were made possible with the help of social media platforms as a connecting tool.
Twitter handles of different government departments were actively alert and responded to people in need across the country.
Samdish Bhatia, from Scoopwhoop Unscripted, having approx. 7.6 lakhs subscribers on YouTube is making use of the platform to shoot people dying from corona and how precautions are being taken in a crematorium. This is an exceptional effort of frontline reporting.
In such extraordinary times, many academic publishers have made online content available for free to support teachers and students worldwide with distance learning. We should use social media mindfully to avoid losing track of time. We should fight against misleading information on the social web and spread awareness about the virus and help in making this world a better place to live in.
Contributed By- Madhvan Dixit, Content Writer @ Mitti Ke Rang
At Mitti Ke Rang, we started with a COVID-19 community support fundraising, as an emergency response to provide a safety net to families. This will help them survive in the lockdown period. We aim to directly support these families by providing a minimum wage, through transferring the same into their accounts or partner with local NGO, Organisation, Fellow, or a Volunteer and support them with groceries.
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