Throughout the years, humans have been exposed to a variety of deadly diseases... Remember Swine Flu? Swine flu and Ebola are only some of the examples that have killed millions of people around the world. In 2019, Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread like wildfire taking over the entire world. Currently, there are over a million cases of the disease detected across two hundred countries. Needless to say, this has caused major panic among people. What is interesting to note, however, is that this is the first time a pandemic has been covered and reported mainly through the internet and social media. We are now going to go through the advantages and disadvantages of using social media during the pandemic!
The circulation of Information
One of the major advantages of social media is the extent of information that is circulated. Trusted public health organisations like the World Health Organisation (WHO) use social media to post verified resources required to inform us. It is somewhat shocking that social media sharing platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are outlets that are being used by leaders to ensure that 100% correct knowledge is boosted. Governments have actively tried to interact with us to eliminate misinformation in times of the pandemic. If you've viewed Boris Johnson's Instagram lately, you would have seen the message: STAY ALERT, CONTROL THE VIRUS SAVE LIVES.
With people staying at home, several of them have taken to social media to do their part in creating awareness about the coronavirus pandemic. Major celebrities (Including Selena Gomez) are using their platform and influence to help raise awareness. Challenges like the Safe Hands Challenge have been circulating on social media where influencers are informing their followers of the importance of personal hygiene, WHO has also partnered with a popular video-sharing application called TikTok, to create awareness about coronavirus and its safety measures. This is something positive!
It is evident that most schools have been shut and examinations have been postponed. This has led to virtual classrooms with the help of social networking sites like Google Classroom, Zoom, Skype where teachers are working REALLY HARD to ensure that students do not miss out on their education. What would we do without these platforms, right?!