During the last decade, experts have advised people to cut down on the amount of time spent on social media to minimize its harmful effects, such as addictions. In other words, being mindful about how we use social media. However, since the pandemic onset, social media use has increased globally as people were stuck indoors for long periods under lockdowns. Most research during the covid 19 season has indicated that many people have spent more time on social media, which has kept them going during the crisis. Following that, previous assumptions and perceptions regarding the use of social media have to be re-examined. The role of social media commentary sites such as Reddit has dramatically evolved and diversified during the pandemic.
People have always used social media sites for news updates since they came to be. However, news consumption on social media spiked up during the pandemic, especially the initial stages of the covid 19 outbreak. According to Maxmilian Lang-Orsini, a typical enthusiastic Redditor, social media commentary sites such as Reddit have been influential during the entire pandemic season. People took to Reddit to give their opinions regarding the pandemic’s state and how they are fairing, which kept many people from giving up. The demand for real-time information during the initial stages of the pandemic was unmatched, and social media commentary sites proved to be a quick way to access that.
Positive social media commentary sites
Many users have now turned to more positive social media commentary sites during the pandemic to get meaningful insights. For instance, Pinterest reported an all-time high in searches and saved pins this year. The same change has been witnessed in Reddit as DIY and entertainment communities gained more views in specific categories by 10% WoW. Such categories include Art and Design interest groups, gaming, computing and technology, and TV. Reddit has seen more activity surrounding conversations and engagement as people look for positive ways to be engaged at home and keep away from the virus.
According to custom research in the UK and US regarding social media use during the pandemic, more than 57% of the whole population reported that social media has helped them feel less lonely. Many people believe social media has played a significant role in relieving stress and anxiety associated with the covid 19 pandemic. Such statistics would have seemed less likely before the pandemic. Many people have benefited from visiting social medial commentary sites such as Reddit, where there are real-time discussions and engagements regarding different social issues. With the covid 19 restrictions that have marked the better part of the year, people needed to reconnect outside of their immediate settings, and social media presented the perfect platform to do so.
How social media commentary sites might save the world
The covid 19 has presented a significant shift in social media consumption, and organic media has taken center stage. This crisis showed the need for people to engage more, especially brands with their consumers, something social media commentary sites such as Reddit facilitates. The covid 19 has somehow brought back the social or positive aspects of social media. Users feel more comfortable sharing what is happening in their world during the pandemic, which we believe has brought a healing effect to the world regardless of the pandemic’s negative impacts.
Written by: Maximilian Lang-Orsini