Look At What I Just Sent You

Even indoors, connecting with the world around us is right at our fingertips.

Courtesy of stux on Pixabay

Even indoors, connecting with the world around us is right at our fingertips.

Jynnx Betancourt

All of us can admit that we have been increasingly active on our social media accounts ever since the pandemic hit us in March. Whether you have been scrolling through your For You Page, hanging out with some friends in a voice chat, or going through stories on Snapchat, we have definitely noticed an increase in our screen times. Due to the pandemic restrictions, much of the population has been spending more time at home, and to be expected, this has brought a change in social media usage.

 With the fear of catching the virus combined with the pandemic restrictions, social media platforms are an easy outlet for entertainment. Platforms such as YouTube and TikTok reign superior as they take up 54% of media usage alone, reports Digital Commerce 360. Because of the apps’ video based content, both TikTok and YouTube are easy targets for hours of entertainment. Youtube alone is the home to over a million hours worth of video content, and this number is only growing. Since March, YouTube viewership has more than doubled, reports The Nielsen Global Media, a global marketing research firm. According to YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki, in a recent interview with CNN, some of the most popular videos watched throughout March and April were “at home exercise routines, making fabric masks, cutting hair at home, home renovations, and other trends ‘about life under quarantine.’”  While the hot topics in the current months include cooking, self care, “#WithMe”, and hair cutting tutorials, according to Search Engine Journal. Very similar to YouTube, TikTok often circulates through trends. With TtkTok’s sudden growth in downloads once the pandemic hit, TikTok has been one of the most influential entertainment platforms right beside YouTube. “TikTok’s global downloads for last week [March 16-22] were up by 12%, from 25.4m during the week starting March 9, to 28.5m for the week starting March 16,” reports Music Business Worldwide. Not only are downloads increasing, so is the money spent on the app as “TikTok’s gross US revenue for the week commencing March 16 was $1.1 million – up 34% on the previous week’s gross revenue of $822,000.” As with any social media platform, TikTok has trending creators and trends. One of the most influential pandemic sensations is Charli D’Amelio, with her Renegade dance blowing up on TikTok. Some honorable mentions for popular creators include Bella Poarch, Hyram, and Addison Rae, as reported on the TikTok newsroom. 

Not only are video based platforms like TikTok and YouTube being used as entertainment, another popular social media platform, Instagram, is beginning to have a rise in the app’s usual engagement. Digital Commerce 360 reports “Respondents used Instagram most (44%); that platform also is where respondents increased their overall consumption most during quarantine (69%).” With this increase of Instagram engagement, naturally, the usual times of days with the most activity increased. Prior to the pandemic, the best posting times were Wednesday and Friday around 11am. During the pandemic, the best posting times widened to Monday, Tuesday, and Friday around 11am according to Sproutsocial. The way users post has changed along with this as well. According to Digital Commerce 360, “42% of respondents said the content they post during the pandemic is similar to what they used to post before. However, 33% indicated they are avoiding posts that others might perceive as tone-deaf. It seems as though there has been a shift in people’s timelines due to current events.” Meaning, over the pandemic, people have switched over to current political and social topics, compared to the usual selfie or status update. “During the pandemic, respondents feel that the tone of the content is ‘overwhelming’ (17%), an information overload’ (15%) and ‘stressful’ (15%),” reports Digital Commerce 260.”

Though individuals have been spending a large amount of time on social media, it is a great way to reconnect with our friends and relevant issues through these difficult times of the pandemic and social distancing. Despite this, be mindful to take breaks from the media and take time to focus on yourself!