ROLE OF MEDIA DURING THE LOCKDOWN
“In the age of technology there is constant access to vast amount of information .The basket overflow people get overwhelmed ; the eye of the storm is not so much what goes on in the world, it is the confusion of how to think, feel, digest & react to what goes on.” –Criss Jami, Venus in Arms
Media is playing a major role during this lockdown period. Social media is inundated with current affairs, during the lockdown social media’s role is very vital in controlling people’s emotion, stress, and fear and to help them get aware of the current scenario. Media has always been the place where people used to interact, and in addition to that with people being isolated, it is the only source left. Because of this, it is undoubtedly the most important channel for brands to focus on right now.
With people spending more time online, social platforms are the perfect place for brands to connect with their audiences. There has never been a better time to capitalize on building relationships with audiences. Information pollution about Covid every single day adds to the already existing uncertainty and panic about the virus and lockdown. People have often been seen with their eyes glued to their televisions, laptops or mobile screens, busy consuming news feeds related to the corona virus. This often assumes a compulsive nature, with a need to stay updated about every single facet of the illness, which further increases the psychological discomfort and physical unrest.
As the recent lockdown may prove daunting on our physiological and psychological well-being, due to lack of social mingling, outdoor and office routine, many famous celebrities and common people across the globe are sharing motivational posts on the social media platforms to help people remain positive and inspired during the pandemic. This lockdown period has lead to increased anxiety and depression amongst people. And many people from all over the world uploading motivational videos, songs, poetries, etc., to help those who are facing anxiety and other psychological issues on media. Not only Facebook, YouTube and Instagram saw hug increase in daily traffic but also Zoom and Skype saw a huge increase on new users since the start of the global epidemic. But most interesting part is about current situation we are facing is how these behavioral changes are likely to reshape the world .Soon we can see an increases incompanies that offer remote work opportunities. There is a more possibility that people will start using more online channels and influence the role of media to communicate with their teams.
Whether a person is an introvert or an extrovert, after a few days of self isolation, they should start missing their colleagues and friends and the feeling of gap must be filled by social interaction within communities and the best things to fill that gap is social media. This global pandemic and forced isolation have made a lot of people feeling anxious and men are turning to the positive effect of social media for support during this time period.
The Supreme Court directed to provide compensation of Rs. 50 lakh each to the families of Journalists, Media persons and Newspaper delivery boy in case they die due to corona virus infection. The role of Journalists and media personnel cannot be underestimated nor undermined during this pandemic and just like police, doctors, nurses, Government personnel and others who are carrying out essential duties, are also on the field so as to disseminate and convey correct information to the citizens of the country about the impact of the pandemic and also other information from the world over. After exaltation does these media houses are discharging their duties accordingly?
In spite of the fact that social media is equally crucial to all of us by heeding to the overloaded information that includes the so called fake news, that now is an even bigger threat. This naturally results in over thinking and anxiety. This was not helped by the fact that we are prohibited from leaving the house even for exercise. Our mindset and reality have come undone and have fallen out of sync.
Content producers now have added the responsibility to provide information and stories that are accurate to their followers. We have witnessed a lot of social media posts that aim to scare, get clicks, and generate profits out of this dire situation we are currently experiencing. As it stands, a lot of people find it difficult to know which sources and people they can trust. With such a fast- paced and constantly changing situation, it is important that everyone gives their best in maintaining a positive and healthy state of mind rather than focusing solely on revenues. Ethics, not profits, should prevail. There must be additional responsibilities to influencer that they should only share verified stories or video contents. They only report the news that they think is useful and positive and not to focus on negative click baits.
There are always advantages and disadvantages of every aspect. As social media is too convenient for people, almost most of them don’t even have to ‘speak out’ to communicate with people. No longer, people will lose their communication skills. The more serious problem is many people utilized the power of social media and used it to bully someone. The power of social media is also same as the one in real life. But we must not forget that it stands there to back us and to not make us its slave by trapping us into news which is far from reality. It’s easy to focus on the stumbling block especially when it is associated with social media. I believe, we should stand united, surround ourselves with motivated content and people and spread positivity is what the need of the hour is. We’re in this together and we shall come out of it stronger.
– AYUSHI UPADHYAY
Babu Banarasi Das University