In amidst the inevitability of the massive covid-19 shutdown, social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and others) have turned out to be more important than ever as valences towards the continuity of the day to day life.
While the Virus continues to draw people apart physically, social media has played a vital role in turning out to be the immediate resolution during such trying periods as it creates a bond between families, friends, and workmates.
Spreading World’s Information Needs
Information about COVID-19 has spread faster than the actual virus, and while there has been no shortage of the misinformation, social media has always been a good tool to keep the public informed.
Social media has allowed information to reach the masses like never before, and this information has likely been very helpful in stopping the spread of this illness. People have embarked on sharing signs and symptoms, the causes and the spread, and the measures to be taken in order to control the spread of Covid-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged people to stick to social media for Up to date Covid-19 updates however, it noted that they should be keen on the source of the information because assessing the impact of misinformation is complicated, can also be overstated or understated.
Quarantine And Social Distancing Maintenance
Under quarantine, media has actually turned out to be social. No one is going out and doing anything cool right now, and if they are, they should be ashamed of it for disrespecting the measures drawn to combat on the spread of Covid-19.
Social media has managed to keep people into quarantine and social distancing minus boredom and back outs, self-isolation is a burden. However, it has been eased digitally, through phone calls, texts, and video conferences.
Everyone thought public life had come to a standstill as all gatherings had been banned and public physical contact termed a crime, Social media memes have turned the tables around. Tv stations have embarked on developing more and better dramatic content online to contain the Quarantine minus boredom.
Following government orders of business closure and self-isolation, small businesses couldn’t bear the brunt of this situation wondering where or what is appropriate to market their business during the coronavirus crisis.
With social media, it is easy and appropriate to market your business during the coronavirus crisis. People (customers) will be spending more time at home with the news media wanting to know the latest trends and insights. Readership and visibility could lend a bit of credibility to your company.
Luckily, several businesses have embarked on online marketing and sales. Business owners have developed measures through the creation of pages on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to advertise their products.
Social Media adverting has laid grounds for increased online shopping and this has been more fruitful to the businesses dealing in social necessities and food staffs because the Government allows the delivery of such essential products during such a terrific time.
Political Sensitization And Awareness
Social media on the other hand has played a vital role in exposing the weak democratic leadership and the Strong dictatorial leadership as people have taken comparisons on social media platforms for debate.
COVID-19 is unleashing how weak Democratic leadership is. Look at the US, in Italy, in South Africa and Kenya, It has exposed how weak, clueless, rudderless and myopic our leaders are.
Then look at countries that have dictator-like leadership like Rwanda and Uganda and you will realize that they are doing better in terms of handling the COVID-19 crisis. Look at Russia, in Singapore.
Additionally, Countries that are set to have elections soon like Uganda are thinking about holding scientific elections, this means they will need to do digital campaigning on social media, if this is successful, more countries will adopt.
Following the closure of schools and universities in almost all countries, education has not stopped thanks to social media that enables Digital learning. These techniques may not be applicable in all countries but at least where is it affordable it has turned out to be helpful.
With the availability of Massive Open Online Courses, lecturers that were face-to-face interactions have turned into online. On discussion forums you may find that some who don’t speak up in class have more to say, this is a great insight at least to the Education sector. Different countries may opt to adopt the technique in case of COVID-19 persists.
Health Care Sensitization
Social media has made people’s access to health care information and other educational resources easier during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Different health care workers and leaders put up this “Hand Washing Challenge.” On social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This was meant to sensitize the general public of how best one can wash their hands thoroughly to avoid contracting the COVID-19 virus infection. This challenge was helpful as different people engaged and corresponded.
Several videos of patients suffering from the virus, videos of how one can prevent the spread of the virus and videos of the signs and symptoms have been released on social media platforms as examples for people to follow up and respect the guidelines drawn by WHO on how to remain safe.
By Erica Nsunjo