On July 13th, 2021 Malaysia reported one of the highest daily cases in the nation’s history with the pandemic. The headline ‘11,079 cases’ graced the front cover of many news media reports and, as expected, was met with a flurry of criticisms and response.
Understandably so; we have been in lockdown for more than a year. Daily news on social media have been all about daily covid cases, new research findings into the coronavirus, deaths, etc. Looking at them every day can get really upsetting for anyone. Yet, even in the darkest of times, we still find silver linings whenever we could, even if it’s in the form of satire and sarcasm.
It’s important, now more than ever, to keep positivity in check while we are in lockdown. Social media don’t always have to be upsetting, as growing bodies of research suggest that negative implications that come with the use of social media has more to do with the way we use it instead of the time and duration we spend on it.(1) So here are some ways one can use social media effectively during the pandemic to keep that flame of positivity blazing.(2)
1. Follow and share inspiring stories
What was your favourite story while growing up? Social media has been one of the best platforms where we can gain access to stories of anyone from around the globe. In dark times like these, reading about inspiring stories of other people (like J.K. Rowling’s story of rags-to-riches, or Julian Yee who had to sacrifice a lot to become the First Malaysian Winter Olympian) can be uplifting for your mood in the current situation, as well as serving as an inspiration and motivation for you to persevere through the tough times.
2. Watch animal rescue videos, and follow their pages
Studies have found that watching animal videos, particularly those that show interactions with humans, is good in reducing stress and anxiety.(3)(4) Pages like The Dodo and other animal rescue pages often share videos of animal rescue and their rescue stories on their pages. If you find that your feed is having an overflow with news on the pandemic: it’s time to start filling it with some cute animal videos!
3. Keep the connection alive
A lot of us may be stuck at home, but aren’t we glad we have social media to keep in touch? Reach out to your friends and loved ones on Facebook or Instagram, schedule weekly calls with them via Discord or Skype, or join virtual communities like LinkedIn and those that are of your interest. We may be stuck at home for a while, but thanks to social media, at least it helps to remind us of the people we hold close to our hearts in these times.
As much as social media can be beneficial, it is important to regulate your use of it too to avoid it taking too much of your time. Remember to allocate some time to do other activities like engaging in hobbies and pastimes, doing exercises, or even pampering yourself with personal care items. The little things you do, like these routines, are steps toward becoming more positive during the pandemic.