OPINION: Social media is needed more during pandemic than before

Important to stay connected with your people; social media an excellent way to do that during pandemic

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LAUREN PETTIT

Social media has become one of the most popular ways to stay connected with friends.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Evergreen reporter

Social media is now one of the most common forms of communication, especially with the ongoing pandemic. A lot of students use social media platforms to connect with their friends, family and classmates. 

Students already used social media to connect with friends before the pandemic hit, but once everything got shut down and we all got stuck inside, the internet was pretty much the only way for people to contact each other. 

Harshal Sharma, junior neuroscience major, said his social media usage has increased since the pandemic started. He said it makes it easier to see what his friends and even some celebrities are up to.

Mukoma Bakari, freshman mechanical engineering major, said his social media usage has skyrocketed since the pandemic started because he has more free time.

“You can go out still, but not as much [as before] so there’s a lot of free time to text people,” he said. 

I have definitely noticed an increase in my social media usage as well. I use my social media platforms to connect with my friends since I have not been able to see them as much as I used to. 

Both Bakari and I use TikTok a lot. We both enjoy scrolling through the app and watching people’s videos, but we tend to use Snapchat the most. 

Bakari said he likes using Snapchat more because he can just scroll through people’s stories. 

“I just like watching the little short videos they have, too,” he said.

I don’t have too much interest in watching people’s stories, though. I tend to use Snapchat more because I can send people quick pictures and receive the same. This way, I can see what people are up to in the moment rather than a picture from a few days ago like you would with Instagram.

Sharma said he prefers Instagram over Snapchat, though. 

“It’s just easier because you [can] see pictures of people,” he said. 

While I do agree the pictures on Instagram are better to actually see the people you are connecting with, I think Snapchat shows more of what is going on in real life. 

Sharma, Bakari and I all agree that our social media usage will decrease once the pandemic starts to die down. 

I think once we are not confined to our own homes and are able to physically interact with our friends, social media will not be as necessary as it is now. 

“I like to be outside so I wouldn’t be inside as much,” Bakari said.

I have started to enjoy the outdoors more as well, so being able to go outside and interact with my friends more often will make the desire to get on social media start to go away. 

Sharma said even though his social media usage will not decrease drastically, there will still be a change once the pandemic starts to clear up. 

“If I’m going to see people, [my social media usage] will probably go down a little bit,” he said. “It’s going to be enough that I don’t really need to use [social media] as much to connect.” 

One of the main reasons social media usage has gone up among students is because we have not been able to connect with our friends and classmates. 

I think it is pretty clear that once we can see more of our friends in person, we will not need social media as much as we do now.