Covid-19: How Social Media Habits are Changing

The Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged more of us to think about our social media habits and how they affect our lives. Here’s to what has changed about the way people use the internet or social media.

Doomscrolling, boredom, connection, inspiration, entertainment. These are just a few reasons people felt the urge to go online in 2020 during the pandemic.

But what changed as more people went online for longer periods of time?

According to a recent study, many are thinking hard about the time they spend using their devices with 14% of global respondents wanting to reduce their use of technology. That number increased to 18% for people aged 18-36.

We found that fatigue had grown online around social media and specific apps. Mentions of social media fatigue (e.g. being bored, tired, or exhausted with it)

Social media can’t stop interacting:

It has been noticed that the amount of people discussing how addicted they are to social media and apps has increased in the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the same time it was partly boredom that had our thumbs scrolling through social media feeds and many amongst us knew this yet kept our thumbs scrolling.

This goes to show that people saying they’re addicted to social media can have mixed meanings – while some recognize that they’re time wasting, others are celebrating what they’re learning and the connections they’re making.

On a more serious note, people have been more conscious of their screen time and habits on social media this year.

Doomscrolling:

Doomscrolling was affectionately coined in March to describe the unrelenting need to consume an endless procession of negative online news, as the pandemic began to rage around the world.

It is found that the conversation focused on how doomscrolling affected wellbeing:

  • Exacerbated stress levels
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Lack of focus and hindered productivity

Quitting social media for clarity:

With the year being as divisive as it has been, some folks are contemplating deleting their social media accounts entirely, or just certain apps, to restore some calm in their lives.

Here are some statistics to support our observation. (Source: Statista & Business Today)

  • Annual Facebook User Growth Rate in 2020 – 8.7%
  • Share of Gen Z and millennials who watch more videos on social media due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) – 61%
  • 87% increase in social media usage amid lockdown; Indians spend 4 hours on Facebook, WhatsApp.
  • Before the lockdown, social media usage was on average 150 minutes per day. However, in the first week of lockdown, the figures jumped to 280 minutes per day.
  • The pandemic has infiltrated every aspect of our lives, including our presence online and interaction with social media. We want to stay connected and in the loop in these turbulent times, but that can be hard with the constant barrage of bad news.

However, looking at the positive side, with more and more people coming online or going digital, the scope of growing your business through social media or digital means has upscaled drastically. And having said so, this is the best time to get your business online or to go digital.