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Is Social Media Making A Difference During Lockdown ?

It's no surprise that Britons consumed social media content in greater numbers during the pandemic as lockdowns and furloughs meant that many had more time on their hands and fewer ways of filling that time with shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues being closed.


As well as the consumers who increased their use of Instagram and TikTok, 35% also used YouTube more often and 30% upped their usage of Facebook.


During the pandemic, the most popular forms of social media content were influencer content (46%) and shopping content (39%). And 25% of consumers said they actually prefer shopping on social media, with 92% of those shopping from Instagram and 39% from Facebook. Meanwhile, 22% shopped from YouTube and 20% from TikTok. With 82% of UK consumers using social platforms more since the pandemic started, it’s vital for retailers to respond to this behaviour shift and ensure their social media presence meets consumer expectations.


In fact, during the lockdown, 67% of consumers expanded their use of Instagram. But importantly too, 47% increased their use of TikTok with the entertainment app becoming the most used platform for 21% of consumers.


“The rising popularity of Instagram, as consumers search for influencer and shopping content, coupled with the increased use of new platforms like TikTok, presents a key opportunity for retailers to use consumer-generated content. By focusing on their community, retail brands can provide relevant, high-quality content that engages consumers on the platforms that matter to them most. This empathetic approach is also crucial for retailers to build trust.”


In what has been described as the most challenging crisis since the Second World War, millions of young people are faced with daily uncertainty and major disruption in their routine, education, and social and economic lives.


This could potentially have a significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing - early findings show that as many as 83% of young people aged under 25 with a history of mental health difficulties report that the pandemic has worsened their condition.


A research made in the U.S. and UK shows that 57% of consumers say social media has helped them feel less lonely during the outbreak. Just under half believe it’s also contributed positively when it comes to stress and anxiety. Both of these statistics would have seemed unlikely this time last year.



Let's see both parts of Social Media influence during the lockdown:


Negative


1. There is a growing amount of fake news and miss information. 


In today's modern media ecosystem, social media is considered as a noteworthy passage for information. Most of the public shows their responses based on the information received via social media, and the bad use of it or misinformation can generate disastrous responses from the individual public.


We can see what happen after conspiracy theories appear on social media about the pandemic:


- If it is real or not real and the news have been exaggerated by governments with some intention we don't know.


- 5G is making Coronivirus worse.


- The international level conspiracy is ‘the virus being a biological weapon, created either by the US (to destroy Chinese) or China (to destroy Americans)’.


- Coronavirus is not dangerous if you are a healthy person.


- Some medicines in some countries are given telling people it will prevent or cure the virus.


and many more...


2. More people than before the pandemic are using social media to meet new friends to feel less lonely but they could be vulnerable to criminals and fake account with people lying about who they are.


People living alone during the pandemic are using social media more than ever to meet new people to socialise and feel less lonely, but as we know, meeting new people, if you don't know much about it and you have never done it, can be dangerous.


Not just for teenagers but for adults, meeting new people online can be dangerous or a big disappointment and it can affect their confidence and even their mental health. Some approach to meeting new people in a very innocent way and fall for the traps that criminals or people with bad intentions prepare for them.


I am not saying that making friends online or dating online is something you shouldn't do but I will suggest that if it is your first time, you ask a friend that has a bit more experience to guide you.


I do dating online and meet new friends online, but I have been doing it since the 90s.


Positive


1. Facebook groups have become a phenomenon, they are helping communities to get together and keep informed as well as help each other when needed, buying food and bringing it for the vulnerable or keeping an eye on the elderly living alone.


2. Essential for helping families and friends to keep in touch, feel less lonely and learn more about the technology available to them.


My mother (71 years old) used to depend on the landline before the pandemic but now she has learned to use her mobile phone, Zoom, Netflix, YouTube and her friends who live in the country and abroad have Zoom calls and meet more often than before the pandemic. They have realised (a bit late but better now than never) that there are no distances anymore and they no longer need to write emails or text messages to keep in touch. They can all get together on a conference call from different countries and talk for as long as they want.


This has made a huge difference to them and has helped their mental health, as many of them have just lost their husband and they have never lived alone. Their children are all over the world and instead of feeling depressed or lonely, they get together, not just to talk but to do things together like cooking, watching movies, doing crafts, or just having a tea or wine together.


3. Covid-19 has seen a rise in Mutual Aid Groups, online support groups and resources being made freely available for people to occupy and educate themselves through the pandemic and I truly hope that this sense of community can be maintained as we progress.


4. Social media has also displayed the best in communities; I have recently heard someone liken social media to an extension of your personal circle. The key to a healthy relationship with technology comes from curating feeds to be spaces that make us feel as good as our friendships and imposing boundaries as we would with people. After all, we are all humans behind the screens.


5. It helps you to keep up with immediate news, politicians and government representative opinions, world organizations and real discussions. Always read the information on social media from well-known newspapers, TV channels, organizations and politicians or scientist mentioned by the organizations above, not just anyone pretending to be an expert or someone that says that their information is credible because... 


If you choose well where you read the news or any information from, you can have the very latest news and discussions worth reading, keep inform and get involved if you like doing so.


How to Fact-Check like a PRO when using social media or the internet in general



If you want to make sure you will not fall for misleading conspiracies, fake news or miss information, follow the list of steps created by the University of West Florida, they have made a great article with steps and infographics to help you go through social media and the internet and find real facts and news.


Let's not miss the experience that social media offers because of lack of information or experience, there are many articles and videos that can help you using safely the internet and social media.


Mili Ponce

Keynote Speaker on Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Social Media Strategist, Trainer, Writer, Blogger, Mother, Daughter, Dreamer.


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Is Social Media Making A Difference During Lockdown ? Reviewed by Mili Ponce on Monday, November 02, 2020 Rating: 5

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