WOW | What You Think
DOES SOCIAL MEDIA FEED ANXIETY?
Musician & Travel Vlogger
I spend about an hour on social media every day. Social media spreads both anxiety and good vibes. It depends on your state of mind on how you are consuming it. At uncertain times, such as COVID-19, it’s human tendency to scavenge for information and fall for rumours. So, it comes as a responsibility at this time to consume less of social media, and perhaps indulge in something creative. It is all of our number one responsibility, more so of people with celebrity stature, to verify any news before sharing it on social media platforms. And those who seek opportunity at this time of crisis by creating false news to perpetuate panic must be criminalised.
Aman Pratap Adhikary
Director, Himalaya Roadies, Ko Banchha Crorepati, Kripa Unplugged
As I am involved in the media industry, I am active on social media from the time I wake up till the time I fall asleep. Observing the posts I come through on social media, I would like to say that posts regarding precaution and safety issues are heartily welcome as these posts benefit users like us in some way or the other.
Having said this, there are people who post illogical and hoax content as well. These people tend to create panic, especially at times like this when the world is going through a pandemic. But these situations also test how smart and aware we are. As a responsible social media user, it is our duty not to believe all the content we come across in our feed. Just a few days back, fake audio and videos about the pandemic were going viral. I deleted people who were sharing these content from my friends list as I don’t entertain such activities.
My feed was full of fake news, stupid conspiracy theories and misleading information in the first few days of the pandemic. And to someone like me who spends hours on social media, these news just added to the panic and anxiety. But with time, we all got a little more aware and conscious about what we post and come across on our social media feed.
Like everything else social media has its pros and cons. It is actually refreshing to see how everyone is coming together to share their ideas on making this quarantine productive. Social media might be a useful tool for communication and entertainment, but using it excessively can cause anxiety as one may become the victim of unrealistic expectations, judgment and pressure. Today, social media has spread so much fear regarding the global health crisis. We are not even sure about the credibility of the sources. Hence, I request everyone not to panic as all the information we come across on social media may not even be true.
Prakriti Bhattarai Basnet
In a young democracy like ours where speech is free and literacy rate is comparatively low I find it very normal to have fake news around. However, I cannot undermine the impact that it can create in our society as a whole. Firstly I would like to applaud the government for taking immediate action against the ones who are spreading fake news. We as citizens play a vital role in controlling this clickbait culture. I would like to urge everyone to double check their news reliability. Meanwhile, recently we also saw that even reliable sources have not been able to deliver correct information. Hence, we need to take action. Most of us come across such fake news but are hesitant about reporting them. We need to understand that our education is of no use if we can’t take action during crisis. We should take action and report such news portals and YouTube channels.
I spend about four to five hours on social media. I have subscribed to reliable and official news sites. But not everyone using social sites will be aware about which of them deliver authentic news. My mother sometimes makes me anxious about the posts she sees on her feed and when she worries too much. This stresses me but I can do nothing. I can’t stop people from sharing fake news. All I can do is aware them to check their source.
I insist everybody to ask these questions before sharing anything: Is the content that I am sharing rooted in truth? Is the source reliable? Why am I sharing this news? Will it help the society to unite or divide? How would I feel about this post in a day, a year and 10 years down?
Psycho Social Counselor
Social media can make people feel cautious as well as terrified, it depends on what sort of news we are into. I am not very active on social media. I only spend about half an hour scrolling the feed a day. Instead of depending on social media, I have been updating myself about the current pandemic by following more reliable news sources like WHO and NTV.
Artist & Vlogger
At times like this, I think it is better to spend quality time with your family than reaching out to all the news on social media which mostly aren’t even true. There are so many posts about COVID-19 because everyone wants to do their part and help each other by sharing as much information as possible. This way people believe that they can actually aware themselves and their close ones about what the world is going through. These posts can certainly amplify the fear in some people as it tends to create panic in such situations. But the real breakdown in Nepal hasn’t even started so let’s not panic and hope for the best.