Social Media Pandemic

Media is the other name of a medium through which one can see the entire world—the primary means of mass communication in print or electronic. The purpose is to keep the information flowing and updated to each individual through newspapers, magazines, publications, Television, Radio, or other electronic devices. It is the form of expression and communication focusing on surveillance and transmission of culture simultaneously focusing on the entertainment part.

Media is the excellent source of information one needs to gather to know what’s going on in society or anywhere in the world. It is a channel through which information and day-to-day news flow. It acts as a cultural and social tool to enhance the thought-giving process of an individual. Media helps in providing helpful information to the public, focusing on Government policies and world affairs. It brings in front the countries and the state news and current affairs related to the parties and the opposition. Various technological news and innovations in science and medicine are all taken into consideration with the broad hands of the media.

Media and the Truth:

Media is a great platform to expose and showcase the news. It’s also true that the media can update the public giving and providing information and necessary events highlighting what is relevant and what is not. With the help of the media, the public has its own social, economic, and political interpretations. Sometimes the media has to face criticism from the public and the government in forwarding news that is disturbing or irrelevant, spreading wrong messages, or conveying insignificant views; this sometimes leads to the clash between what is right and what’s wrong, or in other words, and the media becomes responsible for widening the gap between truth and false.

Media in Context of Corona Pandemic:

Media is a brilliant source of information where every news around the corner of the world is brought in front of us through print or electronic media. It has vast scope and source to extract and expose what is going on in the world or outside the world. With the Corona outbreak, the whole world has been shattered. The year 2020 was the phase when the whole world was targeted with the COVID-19 virus. The virus has changed the structure of the world. People lost their lives and their family members and are still struggling with the same issue and even worse than that. Through the medium of Newspapers, the Internet, Television, Magazines, etc., the public is receiving information about the prevalent conditions of the country and its particular state.

The media acts as a transmitter of world and state affairs. It helps in creating awareness in society. With the help of electronic and print media, people can safeguard themselves and their family against the pandemic. The media acts as an invisible helper to make us aware of the present state of the world. Corona has spread its jaws everywhere. The media stand as a barrier to the smooth flow of information and knowledge regarding the disease spread and various precautionary measures. With the medium of television, the internet, and newspapers, there is coverage of every information related to the disease spread. The number of present cases, alive or deceased, the preventive measures to follow, government policies, and their steps for safeguarding the interest of a commoner are all taken into consideration by this medium of exchange. Also, read the Best Hindi news channels of India.

Positive Aspects:

Undoubtedly the Media’s role cannot be denied in extracting news and current affairs.

Following are the positive sides of the media in the context of Corona Pandemic-

    • Bringing in front detailed information regarding the Pandemic.
    • Government policies in safeguarding the public interest.
    • Reporting and analyzing data regarding the cases dead or alive.
    • Spreading information related to health and hygiene.
    • Spreading awareness like the use of masks, sanitisers, etc.
    • Surveying public attitudes.
    • Evaluating the prevalent conditions and spreading information to follow social distancing and safety measures.
    • It helps in shaping the world and one’s self.
    • Systematic review regarding public health communication and effective health communication.
    • Providing worldwide information related to vaccination, availability of medicines, and cure.

Negative Aspects:

It’s observed that without media, the life of an individual is incomplete. Through the press of a button and convenience, an individual can go through any information available 24*7. The media provides relevant information and presents information in a more flamboyant way to highlight their stories and make their report catchy and interesting. But sometimes, this creates a competitive attitude among the reporters, and they magnify the news beyond the limits of truth. In other words, the news becomes highlighted and exaggerated.

Following are the negative effects of mass media-

    • Repetitive messages conveyed on and on.
    • Repetitions lead to boredom and disinterest in reading or watching.
    • The news is highlighted, adding different and irrelevant meanings to the content.
    • The content leads to anxiety and depression among the public.
    • Media use can interfere with sleep. Thus leading to sleeplessness and insomnia.
    • Spreading unrealistic views and rumours.
    • Negative effects on youngsters and teens leading to behavioural issues.
    • Increasing unnecessary phobia among the public.
    • Creates societal pressure, thus leading to poverty, crime, and violence.
    • Spreading of negativity and pessimism among the mass.
    • Developing panic and stress out of the news and reports.
    • The unnecessary and irrelevant messages are forwarded from Whatsapp, Facebook, or other social media apps like chains that directly or indirectly cause chaos and disturbances.
    • The fever of terror is spreading everywhere due to social media’s repetitive messages on the pandemic where many are dying due to illness and others due to the phobia and terror of the disease.
    • The more negative content to gain publicity by news channels is affecting small children or preschoolers who are in their developing stage and growing in fear and panic.

The use and abuse of media make it positive or negative in nature as well as in culture. It is how the public or an individual catches and consumes the news, thus making it resourceful or worth reading and reviewing. For example, social media changes and affects the thinking process of an individual. The repetitive and catchy news sometimes makes the public anxious and harassed too. The kind of panic developed by social media is quite disturbing. So is in the case of COVID-19 news, the positive side of improvement and betterment in the case is not showcased, but the terror and negativity are extremely highlighted. This generally leads to phobia and disturbing minds among the general public.

Social media plays a dual role in bringing out the information, extracting and exposing the truth with two-layer masks of optimism and pessimism. Few people consider it as a source of information and routine to make their general knowledge strong. For rest, it is a part of passing the time. The fact cannot be denied that the media has done a commendable job to bring every possible news and make the public aware of the prevalent situations related to the Corona crisis. It is always recommended to follow proper guidelines to use social media in a reliable and useful way to procure and safeguard the general public’s interest. This helps in knowing the acceptable truth up to a certain limit that will not harm or disturb the individual’s mental or physical health.

Following are the steps to be taken to understand and review news and information in a positive manner-

    • Read and follow what is apt.
    • Not every condition and crisis are related to politics.
    • Criticism should not be related to the political debate; rather focus should be on how to make amendments on one’s part.
    • Do not contribute to infodemic.
    • Follow responsible and useful ways to extract and review information.
    • Stop transferring and forwarding fake messages and data related to COVID-19 news, treatment, and vaccination.
    • Truth should not be replaced with myths.
    • Don’t blindly follow WhatsApp, Facebook, or any other social media apps messages and information as these messages are forwarded one and do not hold the complete truth.
    • Opting for yoga and meditation can help in easing through the difficult time.
    • Focus on the recovery rate that is 16 Million (approximately) rather than the deceased.
    • Motivational stories regarding recovery should be shared to boost the morale of the ill person rather than the negative news that shows death and lack of treatment.

Conclusion:

People are getting more and more aware and conscious regarding the safety measures to be followed. It’s all because of social media. The social and physical distancing patterns, the success of vaccination, availability of treatments, stay home stay safe measures, home isolation methods, etc., are followed because of the media.

Mass media is thus playing a crucial role in disseminating COVID-19 news, followed by various advantages and disadvantages depending upon person to person. Staying home and staying safe with the right approach and positive outlook is the need of the day.