Social Media in a Pandemic

Illustration+of+the+different+aspects+of+social+media+-+Graphic+provided+by+the+New+York+Times

Illustration of the different aspects of social media – Graphic provided by the New York Times

Written by Anna Cristafano, Claire Davison, and Madeline Shea

Due to Covid-19, the usage of technology has increased as communities stay connected virtually. Some peers from our community have “blown up” on Tiktok. The Woodgrove Varsity Cheer Team had a video on one of the member’s Tiktok account that went viral. The video showed them bowling, but using real people as the equipment. Sophomore Brooke Scanlon participated in the creation of the video. “I felt so excited when I realized that a lot of people all over the world saw the video and not just people in our community.” 

Tik Tok creators who reach a steady following are making money from posting videos. “It depends on the video. If someone is actually doing a talent or making people laugh, that takes work,” sophomore Will Ranck states. 

Tik Tok is full of entertaining videos, but some creators also use the app as a platform for politics. As November 3rd quickly approaches, feeds are flooded with influencers promoting their perspectives on political topics. However, the information that is being shared is not always factual. 

Many students only get their information from sources on mainstream social media platforms. Sophomore Robert Wisecarver says he primarily learns about politics from TikTok or Instagram since news media such as FOX and CNN are “too boring to watch.” Wisecarver acknowledges the downside to getting news via social media, “These people can have a huge impact on the election even though they don’t really know what they are talking about or understand the ramifications of what they said.” That’s why it is essential that students are receiving factual information. “I try to get most of my news from non-biased sources,” says WHS student Layna Capritta. 

Politics and entertainment aside, too much social media can take a toll on mental health. “I love seeing social media stand up for mental health issues and bring awareness, but at the same time it can lead to people self-diagnosing,” says sophomore Kimberly Fisher. Many believe that social media is crucial to spread awareness and activism. However, some think that social media should only consist of entertainment. When asked her opinion on this topic, former Woodgrove student Cate Laverty says, “Keep. It. Coming.”

 Woodgrove High School also utilizes social media to promote different activities and groups. “I think that the Instagram posts that I see from groups at WHS seem to help inform students about what is going on,” says WHS teacher Candace King. 

Overall, the pandemic has given people more time and isolation, meaning more social media. This can be both good and bad.