There is no doubt electronic, print and social media has played and is still playing a vital role in educating people about Coronavirus. But, right now, what really concerns me is the misuse of information over these platforms; especially, YouTube, Twitter and WhatsApp have become free zones for scaremongering and spreading fake news.
No ethical aspect is taken care of nor any research goes behind most of the social media posts that we see these days. Take “5G causing coronavirus” news as an example. We have been haunted by a flood of viral posts on social media for weeks claiming 5G internet is responsible for this virus and the weakening of immunity system in humans. Thankfully, experts took matters into their hands and assured it wasn’t the case. But people did suffer due to this fake news. So, what to believe and who to believe is the dilemma of the day.
Having said this about posts that are just false information, let’s turn to genuine posts. A bombardment of viral posts about Coronavirus all the time is making people mentally ill. There seems no break. 24/7 we are exposed to Corona virus and its devastations. The more we expose ourselves to this constant news streaming, the sadder and more depressed we feel.
We don’t need this in the times where besides being aware, to be mentally strong is equally important for fighting this virus. These inconsiderate idiots and attention seekers starving for likes, comments or ticks on their posts in quest of ratings, masquerading as philosophers, doctors or God Knows what else, are responsible equally to stir panic buying in markets, hoardings and turning people crazy.
A degree of fear is good to set new and useful trends or to make people understand the repercussions of negligence, but excess of this “awareness” news also bad. It is almost like a crime in my opinion to post fake horrifying news to scare people. I wonder why this area doesn’t get much attention.
But sadly, we are living in a world where these social media sites are closer to our heart than anyone else. People sleep with their mobile phones and it’s the first thing they see when they get up in the.
Can we do anything about this then? Yes! By using social media mindfully and critically looking at the posts we stop to read. Until and unless, it is from any qualified source, know that it’s undoubtedly fake news. Let’s not assume that the world is about to end. Let’s take statistics as pieces of information and just follow a simple cleaning regime, and not let all those videos of celebrities teaching how to wash your hands fuel obsession with hygiene.
Let’s try to share and read something other than Coronavirus all day; let’s not tread on explosives minefield of hoax posts and/or avoid becoming victim to Corona irus news!
Last but not least, responsibility is on us, too, for making sure that whatever we are going to share on social media is genuine and accurate.