A lot of things have been moved online since the coronavirus pandemic began. Classes, work, and even concerts have been online for social distancing measures.
Because people are staying home and they have extra time in their hands, media consumption has been on the rise. According to J.P Morgan research, people have been updating themselves of the news more frequently. Some turn to social media for real-time updates. As a result, Twitter’s daily active users has grown by 23% compared to the previous year. On the other hand, cable news has recorded up to a 20% increase in ratings, despite the Daylight Savings Time.
Aside from the news, people have been spending more time connecting with other people on social media and streaming online content. For instance, Facebook Messenger has been used 50% more than usual, and Netflix garnered 15.8 million new subscribers in the first quarter of the year. Online streaming has been proven to be extremely useful amid the pandemic that traditional media companies are considering this platform as well.
Social and political awareness in the coronavirus pandemic
Yes, the numbers are amazing, but what do these mean for awareness of current events? The spike in media and news consumption via online activities can be utilized to raise awareness. For those who have access to the internet, this is the place for learning about current events and more information about what is going on around them.
Because of widespread posts about the Black Lives Matter Movement, the whole world took part in the protests against discrimination and racism. The issues of third world countries have also been brought to a wider audience. One example would be public figures, like Taylor Swift and Jaida Essence Hall, posting about the Anti-Terror Law in the Philippines.
How can you stay updated amid the global crisis?
The numbers regarding the coronavirus pandemic are ever-changing. Therefore, to prevent the spread of the virus, everyone should be on the same page on information and preventative measures. Here are ways to stay up to date:
- Follow channels on messaging apps, such as Telegram and WhatsApp. This way, you can have constant updates delivered to your inbox.
- Check hashtags. Political and social movements usually come with a hashtag as a way of collating information.
- Listen to podcasts. Podcasts are no longer just leisure conversations. More and more podcasts are shedding light on current issues. The best thing about podcasts is you can listen to them on-the-go—on your earphones or car stereos.
- Fact-check. The prevalence of information on the internet has bred unverified and fake news. To know the credibility of the article you are reading, you can cross-reference it with other sites. It is also important to remember that credibility also comes with the name of the source.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has exposed the flaws in the system. If there is any other time to fight for social change, it should be now. This is a challenge to every institution as well as individuals to start caring about the news.