The Growth Of Social Media Usage During The Pandemic

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The Growth Of Social Media Usage During The Pandemic
This research shed light on the reason that led to the rapid growth of social media during
the pandemic. The paper outlines how COVID-19 emerged and how the pandemic impacted
people’s social, health, and economic life. The research shows that due to the way peoples’ lives
have changed, the majority have turned to social media as a source of information, virtual
interactions, and sharing of COVID-19 health-related information. Social media served to send a
ray of hope to those suffering. Employees used to work from home, and they had all the time at
their disposal. Thus they would switch to social media platforms while working from home.
Medics found it easy and faster to access and share COVID-19 information via social media.
People turned physical dating to online dating while learning at all levels abandoned face-to-face
learning for online learning. Due to restricted movement, marketers opted to promote their
products and services via social media. Video calls and conferencing became the norm and
replaced physical interaction and socialization. These changes are attributed to massive traffic
experienced on social media platforms since January 2020.
The first case of coronavirus was reported in China in 2019. Every business continued as
usual. The majority never cared as they viewed the coronavirus as a China issue. After several
days, the virus started spreading like a world fire. More and more cases and deaths were being
reported daily. It was no longer a Chinese pandemic when it spread to Japan, South Korea,
Thailand, and other countries such as Spain, Germany, and the United States of America. This
led W.H.O to declare the Coronavirus as a global pandemic. It further came with protocols to be
observed to curb the spread of the virus. As the cases surged, more restrictions were imposed;
people started working from home, industries began to shut down, and many businesses were
forced to close their outlets to prevent the further spread of the disease. Travel barn and social
gatherings were further imposed, and in the end, all physical learning and lockdown were
imposed. All these restrictions had a different impact on how people turned on social media
usage across the globe. With all Coronavirus restrictions, people outside their country could not
return to their mother countries. The majority of the people stayed indoors, offices were empty,
markets, fields, and schools were empty, and streets and social amenities remained no-go zone
for human interaction. As a result, people turned to social media platforms such as Facebook,
Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, Tiktok, zoom, WeChat, among others, as a platform for passing
the time, learning, marketing, holding the meeting, entertainment, working, socializing turning
everything from offline to online which lead to significant growth of social media usage.
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Boost in Social Media consumption
One of the articles published by Facebook showed a rapid increase in traffic on its
platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The growth of the usage of Facebook
and other platforms started to increase the moment more covid-19 restrictions were imposed
where new usage records were noted every hour. This was further linked to the fact that most
employees were working from home. They had the liberty to determine when to turn on social
media and work while using social platforms simultaneously. Children were out of school and
what could keep them busy at home was social media, online videos, and gaming. Employees
who were retrenched from their workplaces had all their time at their disposal, and one of the
ways to kill the boredom was to turn to social media. According to Facebook reports, Facebook
messages increased by 50% on its platforms due to the coronavirus pandemic, while there was an
increase of 1000% in group calls within the first month of covid-19(“Topic: Social Media Use
During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worldwide”).
Since the movement of people was restricted, physical interactions were minimal since
people could not meet and develop any relationships. People turned to date sites. These are
platforms designed to connect suitors. As of March 2020, was one of the most visited
dating sites, with almost 2 million visits within a month. With the lockdown and restricted
movement of people, the same trend was noticed on in January 2020 (Social Media Use
during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worldwide”). Since the coronavirus pandemic was declared,
there has been massive traffic on online dating sites.
Medics used social media to share news feeds related to the COVID-19.
Healthcare professionals and other caregivers used social media to share information and
news feed related to COVID-19 predominantly compared to other sources of information
(Glasdam et al. 2). For example, 91.1% of the medics, including doctors and nurses in Vietnam,
used social media to share COVID-19 related details. The percentage of covid-19 information
was higher than the information transmitted on the ministry of health website and other written
and visual media. Health care workers in Pakistan, Libya, and India. In Saudi Arabia, medics
learned about COVID -19 via social media. In general, health care workers worldwide turned to
social media as a platform for getting new information regarding the pandemic trend. In-country
like Ethiopia, it was found that health professionals who were using social media to get COVID19 information were more than twice as knowledgeable as the ones who never used social media
as a source of information.
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Health workers also used social media widely to share frontline heroes and heroines. This
is evident because the word heroes were posted on social media mainly by healthcare workers to
assure the public that there are doctors, nurses, and other non-professional healthcare workers
working day and night to ensure the COVID-19 patients (Glasdam et al. 9. On the other hand,
healthcare workers professionals have been using social media as a disciplinary tool by raising
awareness to the public about the correct COVID-19 protocols and correct behavior. For
example, nursing urged people to stay indoors during the quarantine period as the health ministry
and the state government recommended, wash hands using soap and antiseptics, and use
appropriate coughing etiquette. In that regard, social media users used social media regularly to
acquire information regarding the pandemic. The number of social media users continued to
increase rapidly because everyone wanted real-time information to respond to the surging
emergencies of COVID-19 ill patients. In addition, relatives who have a COVID-19 patient
wanted to stay connected with their patient so that they could retain communication, monitor the
disease behavior, and maintain a social connection to eradicate social isolation, which was
crucial in the management of the mental problem and the patients’ anxiety (Buchanan et al. 5).
Therefore social media continued to grow the more cases of COVID-19 increased since more
information, connections, and attachment with those who were quarantined, and more
emergencies were reported. The majority believed instant and real-time information could only
be accessed via social media.
Social Media Was Used as a Source of News and Entertainment during Lockdown
During lockdown and quarantine, people were not allowed to interact freely, and social
distancing was mandatory to be observed in any public gathering. Those in quarantine had to
stay in secluded areas to avoid spreading the virus to the people around them. The Internet was
the only way people could socialize with their close relatives and learn what was happening
outside their cages. People made video calls and enjoyed online performances, primarily
available on social media. Social media was an essential tool where people could encourage their
loved ones from the pandemic challenges they were facing. Some of the bedrooms were turned
into a studio and gaming arena—some created videos and memes, which they kept posting on
social media platforms. More than 50% of the Americans under quarantine killed boredom by
making virtual conversations with their members of the family, loved ones, and friends. In
addition, the majority relied on social media for real-time information shared by social media
users, the ministry of health, and W.H.O. Some teachers held classes and discussions on social
media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Discord, and Reddit. Social media usage expanded
to those with lower-tech know-how and higher-tech readiness in America. People had to expand
their interest in social media usage because it had become one of the crucial tools in their lives.
More than 60% of the parents in America felt that it was somehow good for their children to
access learning online compared to physical learning (MCCLAIN et al.).They felt that children
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benefited from both learning and being equipped with the knowledge of using online platforms
most profitably. Therefore, more and more underage groups were being introduced to online
learning through various social media platforms, which led to the mass growth of social media
during the COVID -19 pandemic.
Video Calls and Conferencing Became Part of Everyday Life after the Emergence of
The world health organization regulates physical interactions. However, people are social
beings, and it is not easy to separate human beings and socialization. Therefore, human beings
had to look for alternative means of socialization apart from physical socialization. Virtual
interaction was one of the ways that replaced physical interactions. Virtual exchanges have been
facilitated majorly by video calls and conferencing. People could follow social events such as
weddings, funerals, meetings, and church services via zoom, Instagram, Facebook, and other
media sites supporting remote programs (Shah et al. ). People never felt utterly alienated from
each other since they could follow most of the social events which were going on outside their
closed doors. The education ministry was forced to adopt online teaching after W.H.O. brought
face-to-face learning to an end. COVID-19 ill patients could not interact with anyone who was
not in the correct protective equipment, which was scarce throughout the world (Liu). ;[These
patients could be accessed virtually by doctors and other health worker practitioners. The nurses
did not need to appear on the patient beds physically. They could use video conferencing
programs to monitor their patients’ progress while in their nurse station. More so, patients could
use the same to ask for any help from the nurses or other caregivers attached to the isolation
ward. This shows that social media platforms were also being applied heavily in homes,
hospitals, different places of work, etc. Social media played a vital role in industries in that
physical meeting was not necessary with the introduction of remoting programs such as zoom,
Facebook, and others.
Everyone in the world was affected in one way or the other by the emergence of the
COVID-19 pandemic. The movement of people was restricted, total lockdown and curfews were
imposed, businesses were shut down, schools were closed, social gatherings were restricted, and
marketplaces were closed. Human beings are termed as social beings in that they have to interact
with each other, make friends, buy and sell and pass knowledge. Social media is a critical tool in
retaining the social aspect of human beings. Those who had social media now and those who
were not turned to social media as a platform for interacting, buying and selling, holding
business meetings, entertainment, and acquiring information. Those in quarantine and those who
stayed in the house found an excellent opportunity to get entertained, share, and encourage one
another virtually. Doctors and nurses used social media widely to learn new COVID-19 trends
and emergencies, new protocols to be observed, praise workers who were doing their best to save
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the lives of those who were suffering from COVD-19 as well as give the public the proper
behavior that will help to curb the spread of the virus. Learners of all levels use social media to
learn. People far from their relatives had no other means of uniting virtually apart from social
media platforms. All these usages had a significant impact on the growth of social media. It is
out of this tribulation that led to the anomalous expansion of social media users during the
Works cited
Glasdam, Stine et al. “Nurses’ Use Of Social Media During The COVID-19 Pandemic—A
Scoping Review”. PLOS ONE, vol 17, no. 2, 2022, p. e0263502. Public Library Of Science
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(Plos), . Accessed 8
Apr 2022
Shah, Syed Ghulam Sarwar et al. “The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Pandemic Of Lockdown
Loneliness And The Role Of Digital Technology”. Journal Of Medical Internet Research, vol 22,
no. 11, 2020, p. e22287. JMIR Publications Inc.,
Social Media Use During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worldwide”. Statista, 2022
Liu, Huan. “Official Social Media And Its Impact On Public Behavior During The First Wave Of
COVID-19 In China”. B.M.C. Public Health, vol 22, no. 1, 2022. Springer Science And Business
Media L.L.C.,
Accessed 9 Apr 2022.
Buchanan, Kathryn et al. “Brief Exposure To Social Media During The COVID-19 Pandemic:
Doom-Scrolling Has Negative Emotional Consequences, But Kindness-Scrolling Does Not”.

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