Doomscrolling during COVID-19 and how we shifted gears on social media

Twitter and Instagram turned out to be people’s voice to raise requests for medicines, beds, oxygen cylinders during India's tryst with the second wave of COVID-19. Rishika Khanna, tells us how we shifted gears from doomscrolling to actually helping.

Doomscrolling during COVID-19 and how we shifted gears on social media
Representative image

New Delhi: More than a year has passed and the world is still healing from the savage aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of us are stuck in various variants of the virus and there seems to be no end to our woes. But, Instagrammers and social media influencers have shown us a way. A way to convert doom to good news! Instead of consuming the negativity that came along with the second wave of the novel coronavirus, influencers have turned the table and became instruments of change. This phenomena, popularly known as doomscrolling is what has kept India’s hopes alive and spirits high.

While the doctors and frontline workers are considered the lionheart of this pandemic, social media outgrew its role of being a primary source of communication and played a vital role in the extension of people’s life. Earlier platforms like Twitter and Instagram were bombarded with memes, recipes, reels, online challenges but who knew they would turn out to became people’s voice to raise requests for medicines, beds, oxygen cylinders.

Khanna got response in 24 hours

Tejasvita Khanna, a 25-year-old resident of Delhi needed an oxygen cylinder for her grandfather. She posted a story on her Instagram handle and lo! she was able to get one within 24 hours. She said: “Those were hard times. I was desperately in need of an oxygen cylinder, my grandfather’s O2 level dropped down to 69. It was a tense environment at home, my family members tried to contact people to arrange a cylinder but we failed in getting one. It was then I got an idea and uploaded a story on my Instagram handle about the urgent need for an oxygen cylinder. Not even 24 hours to this and three people messaged me regarding the availability and I was able to get one on time. So, thanks to social media for saving my grandfather’s life.”

It was believed that generation Z a.k.a the ‘social media generation’ utilises online platforms to make videos, follow influencers and of courses, the older generation always considered it a waste of time. But who knew one day these “youngsters” will lead the fight against the deadly virus and its variants.

Too much of a good thing?

Dr Anjili Nagpal, a Delhi-based psychiatrist, feels that excess of everything is bad but it is good if it is there to serve you. She said: ” To an extend yes, social media has been very helpful. During these social distancing times, it has kept us linked with our family members, friends, work from home and the economy of the country is running because of it.” She also added that in the coming year’s new technologies will come and everyone will get addicted to them. But if they use it for some kind of an uplift… who is complaining.

“As these technologies become a part of our lives their dos and don’t should be very clear. For kids, it should come from home itself parents should not be telling their kids not to use their phones but are on them for long hours. But yes I am glad that social media was really helpful for most of the people during the pandemic times,” says Nagpal.

We agree that addiction to anything has a cost attached to it. But in dire times like the one we were in,  help from social medium was god sent. For now, keep up the good work guys!

(Rishika Khanna)