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The Good and Bad Sides of Online Connection in Quarantine

In a time where everyone is more isolated than ever, social media is quickly becoming more prominent in our daily lives.

This makes sense. There isn’t much else to do, so we turn to our devices. Meaning that screen time has increased for many of us, as well as social media usage.

Not only are we relying on it for entertainment and connection purposes, but also health and safety updates.

Currently, people are unable to spend time with the ones they love most — thank the lord for Twitter and Instagram right?! These apps and many more seem to be the glue to keeping everyone connected during what is an extremely lonely time. In a way, it’s like we’re having a private conversation in a public place.

It’s also not surprising to learn that WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have all experienced a 40%+ increase in usage from under-35-year-olds.

What can go wrong with social media in quarantine?

Fake news has played a big part in facilitating panic throughout this pandemic. We’re reliant on media to provide us with the latest facts and figures, but sometimes we aren’t following the right sources, misinformation can spread and people believe false facts.

Instagram is very good at fascilitating FOMO (fear of missing out). Right now, I think were just experiencing the fear of missing. We’re unable to do just about anything at the minute, but still the platform is drawing people in to remember a time when life was ‘better’ — even if this has a detrimental impact on our mental health.

For example, I’ve seen a few posts and thought “Oh, their quarantine life is so much better than mine” or “I need to workout”. The reality is that the current lockdown is a very lonely time for us all, even though it’s nice to idealise your life and only post the best bits of what you’re doing.

That being said, people can enjoy themselves however they please. The ability to connect with the people closest to us in an instant is something to be grateful for in the current climate, but it’s also important to remember online connection may skew our view of what quarantine really looks like.

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