The Role of Social Media in COVID Times

After a seemingly unending year of pandemic life, the end is in sight. Vaccines are being rolled out, and with any luck, we can begin to see a steady decline of infections and get back to living freely.

COVID-19 has changed the way we live and interact with each other, forcing us to shut ourselves inside to stay safe. Connecting digitally quickly became the only way we could still feel a sense of community and social interaction. As a result, we have rediscovered social media’s place in our society.

Our Need for Connection

Humans are not meant to be alone. We love company, and crave it. This is why the pandemic has been so hard on us. In these trying times, we look to social media for that sense of personal connection. When used with intention, it can be a great outlet to share interests, hobbies, or life updates. 

Four Upsides to Social Media

Lockdown living has shed some light on the positive aspects of social media. While easily demonized, there are actually benefits to social media. Here are four of our favorites:

1. We get to connect with people and keep each other updated

Certainly one of the best features of social media is in keeping touch with friends, family, an audience, or fanbase. At Orthosnap, we regularly update our Facebook and Instagram pages so you can always be in the loop.

2. Allows us to share art, hobby, interests with likeminded people

All this free time has allowed us to explore our hobbies. Normally, we might share these hobbies in person. In lieu of this, we can share our creative endeavors with our friends and other enthusiasts online. 

3. We can congregate digitally

Without music concerts and sporting events, live streaming has exploded in popularity. Digitally congregating is the only way we can be in a “crowd” and feel a sense of unity with hundreds or thousands of other people. That sense of experiencing something happening live is profoundly crucial to our collective wellbeing. 

4. No commuting is better for the environment

After the world first entered lockdown, we all noticed something strange and beautiful. Rivers and oceans were less polluted, air quality was improved, all this because our global industrial workhorse suddenly had to take a break. 

Three Downsides to Social Media

As we all know, social media can also be harmful, a pitfall of expectations and comparisons. Here are three reasons to be wary of too much social media:

1. We judge ourselves against others.

Everyone presents their best side to the world. We then wonder what is wrong with our own lives when measured against this unrealistic standard. It is important to remember this fact when scrolling through your feeds. 

Be aware of how you’re feeling: is it happiness and contentment at others’ accomplishments, or jealousy of them, with shame at our own shortcomings? When it swings towards the latter, it’s probably best to put the phone down, or at least use it for something else.

2. It can be addictive.

This is the main drawback to social media. The apps are designed to be addictive and never ending, a constant scroll of content that triggers our dopamine receptors in just the right ways to keep us wanting more. 

Most phones these days have app usage counters, allowing you to keep track of how long you spend on social media. If it gets to be too high, considering taking a break and researching methods to curb phone usage.

3. It’s not a perfect substitute for reality.

As fun as the Internet can be, it is simply not a suitable replacement for the physical world. Seeing and hearing someone in real life, getting to hug them, reading facial and body cues, we took all these for granted pre-pandemic, and will hopefully learn to appreciate them all the more after returning to normal life.

Takeaways

Social distancing has shed a spotlight on the role social media plays in society. The past year has been a magnifier of its benefits and dangers. Hopefully, we can remember these as we gradually shift back to socializing normally.

Schedule a Consultation

While COVID has shut down many businesses, we are fortunate enough at Orthosnap to remain open and available. We would be happy to start you on your Orthosnap journey. You can learn more about Orthosnap by visiting our online help center. Stay safe out there, and look out for one another.