The national lockdown has seen a marked increase in social media use among South Africans. The restrictions have led to people interacting and keeping themselves busy by tweeting, liking, commenting, sharing and being much more active on social media.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, these social media platforms have also highlighted a few behavioural changes such as social media users practising healthy eating and exercising on Instagram. There has also been a surge in arguments and debates trending on Twitter, binge watching of videos and consumption of content on YouTube.
Senior lecturer in Psychology at Rhodes University Dr Liezille Jacobs says the sudden increase in social media activity lies in people's desperate need to socialise, as we are all social creatures by nature.
The gap left from the lack of social interaction is significant, and social media offers a way to fill the void. The global pandemic has left many people feeling anxious and looking for support. They are turning to social media to attain this.
Dr Jacobs, however, says people should be more aware of what they say on social media and be careful of the negative outcomes that come with using these online platforms excessively.
With more and more people spending their time online, it would certainly be interesting to see how people interact after the lockdown and how this will affect or contribute to the social atmosphere.