SOCIAL MEDIA AND ITS IMPACT DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A CROSS-SECTIONAL QUESTIONNAIRE BASED STUDY
Anant D. Patil MD*, Rhea Bahadur and Vaishali Thakare
Objective: To study the attitude and practices of general population towards use of social media during COVID-19 pandemic Material and Methods: In this online survey based cross sectional study, people from community were subjected to a questionnaire related attitude and practices towards social media during COVID-19 pandemic. Results: A total of 457 [320 (70.02%) male; 219 (47.9%) post-graduates] participants were included. A total of 236 (51.6%) participants used social media for 1-5 hours and 320 (70%) reported increase in use during COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 222 (48.6%) people reported using Aarogya setu. A total of 403 (88.2%) and 231 (50.5%) reported starting use of Zoom and Google Meet respectively. According to 175 (37.74%) and175 (40.32%) newspapers and news channels respectively are reliable media for information. According to 377 (82.26%), survey participants social media has been useful for spreading awareness about preventive measures related to COVID-19. Headache, eye strain, less interactions, time consumption, unrealistic expectations and negative feelings were reported by 230 (52.75%), 334 (76.61%), 230 (52.75%), 309 (70.87%), 226 (51.83%) and 215 (49.31%) participants respectively. According to 423 (92.56%) participants not all information about COVID-19 in the media is true. A total of 52.5% participants reported that, media is spreading more fear than facts. Conclusion: Use of social media has increased during COVID-19 pandemic. Our study provided mixed types of responses related to use of social media. Social media has been useful for spreading awareness about prevention of COVID-19, but many also feel that it can spread fear.
Keywords: Bias, information, reliability.
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