Imagine staying cooped up at home 24/7 without any link with the outside world! Impossible, right? But then, the COVID 19 pandemic has made us do exactly that. It has turned our lives upside down. We needed to practice Social distancing, maintain minimum physical contact with the outside world, and carry on with life.
What stood as a solution to this forced isolation is Social Media. It provided us the platform to interact with friends and relations, making the otherwise impossible situation bearable to a large extent. Though confinement was the order of the day, loneliness could be avoided. People engaged themselves in online conversations, video calls, watch parties, and what not! The virtual contact made up for the missing physical contact. While seeing someone online cannot be the preferred substitute for meeting in person, social media definitely played a compensatory role in keeping people connected. Studies have shown that it had an immensely positive impact on people’s psyche. They could connect to their loved ones, keep themselves updated, and feel more at ease with their surroundings.
While social media helped us to maintain a sense of normalcy, it has had its downsides too. People were flurried with continuous information that added to their confusion, got them anxious and stressed, and even led to paranoia. Some started reacting in the social platforms with extreme bitterness and cynicism, which affected the people around them. Some started to get unduly worried about all the news coming in. Few started to believe in all sorts of false claims of remedies and put themselves in trouble.
Let us understand that the current pandemic has brought in a huge shift in all of our lives. It has had its impact on health, economy, society and has caused immense disruptions in our regular routines. Isolating ourselves was a challenge, which we could overcome because of the virtual connection we had with others. However, we also need to decide how much of an influence social media should be in our lives. Using it for our benefits is fine. But causing distress to ourselves through its usage is not desirable at all.
Let us use social media as a source of relief, not as a source of unwarranted stress. Staying connected is about feeling good, not about pressurizing ourselves. Let us all stay connected and feel safe.
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