Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
News

How Social Media Affects Our Understanding of COVID-19

It’s been a little over a month now since my campus announced that we were doing remote learning for the semester. Many of us hear the word “quarantine” more than a dozen times a day now. We see the word made into memes, creative TikToks, and constantly featured on the dreaded news headlines. Don’t worry, this isn’t a piece about how depressing the news has been. We’re all aware (hopefully) of what’s going on and we’re trying our best to stay strong during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re also all likely to be using social media now more than we ever have. Since our social life has completely shifted into a virtual platform, here are four ways I believe social media has affected our understanding of the current global pandemic:

Increases our inclination to practice social distancing
Anna Schultz-Best Friends Running Through Desert Adventure Road Trip
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

Watching posts of people finding new ways to implement social distancing makes us more inclined to want to practice social distancing. As someone who uses humor as a coping mechanism, it’s refreshing to see people post the hilarious things that they do at home while respecting quarantine. On a more thoughtful note, I also find hope in watching people be humane during this challenging time. 

Changes our perspective of close ones

During any emergency situation, we see sides to people that we feel we knew nothing about. Learning new things about the people we love isn’t always a bad thing. But sometimes, it can be daunting to learn things about friends or family that we didn’t expect to ever learn. For instance, some of our loved ones may still not believe in the severity of the virus, while some of our loved ones may be too paranoid to even step out of their room. Either extreme case can be challenging to process and may change our perspective of the people we love, for better or for worse, or to be indifferent.

Propagates (mis)information

Unfortunately, we’re living in the era of fake news and COVID-19 has reinforced our issue with misinformation. Articles are so vaguely worded and leave a lot of gaps for readers to interpret. Statistics are reworded to aid the agenda of news agencies and during this height of confusion, misinformation adds to the chaos. Rewording and restructuring data is technically a loophole to disinformation. More than ever now, it’s necessary that we recheck and verify all the information we receive from multiple sources so that we don’t fall into this void of chaotic information. 

Helps us build a sense of community 

All in all, what we’re facing right now just sucks. No matter how hard we try to stay positive, it’s not going to be easy to see the light in the situation. However, I have never seen our community, or more generally, humanity, come together in such incredible unity until now. I feel that it’s our strength and resilience that is getting us through this time together. We’re going to survive this together. One day at a time, far away from one other, yet never closer. We’re going to be OK. 

Srisuma Movva

Amherst '22

Srisuma Movva is the Secretary of HerCampus UMass Chapter. She is a sophomore, majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Psychology. She enjoys coding & writing, watching old movies, eating dark chocolate, and wearing graphic tees.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️