Roxanne Cohen Silver, PhD:
Research does make it clear that social media is a larger source of misinformation and rumour than we typically get from traditional media. There isn’t anybody who is monitoring and vetting the information for its truthfulness or its veracity. So we need to step back. How are we using social media? Is it for connection, or is it for information gathering?
Purplexed Science: During the early stages of the pandemic, I admittedly relied heavily on Twitter updates. Not necessarily other people’s tweets, but the curated headlines and conversations Twitter itself would group together. The public’s willingness to be informed is directly linked to how the media has chosen to inform.
I found myself deleting several news notifications I’d set up because it was nothing but COVID-19, and I think that can do two things.
Dilute the information, or expose people to more misinformation. Human beings tend to rationalise what they cannot understand and this pandemic has been no different.
People are using social media for connection, but that also comes with information gathering. People feel a need to share what they’ve learnt with others. Often without stopping to fact check, after all, it’s easier to click a button than it is to input a search term into Google and spend half an hour reading up on a topic you may not necessarily understand.
One solution may be integrating a fact checking service within all social media platforms, or a service that allows people to quickly input information and returns them with a concise and clear explanation. Implementing such a service would be costly and time-consuming, so the buck stops with social media and news outlets. They should be held accountable for what is posted and do their due diligence before misinformation is allowed to spread.
Journaling or keeping a diary (and more recently, blogging) has always been a useful tool in our daily lives. Journaling helps maintain control of our moods, thoughts and feelings by allowing us to focus on our concerns, problems and fears while providing us with a creative outlet.
It has been shown to improve mental health, with the University of Rochester Medical Center stating that journaling can help people with:
Currently, the Coronavirus 2019 Pandemic is causing a lot of change around the world and with constant updates every ten minutes, it’s normal for people to feel a bit anxious and stressed out. With a large number of people in the world stuck at home, it’s easy to feel bored and shut off from the rest of the world. This is where journaling comes in. By keeping a regular journal, you will be able to process your thoughts and emotions with regards to the virus, as well as focus on other areas of your life such as gratitude and self-discovery. Continue reading “Writing your way through your new normal”
Interesting post! We’ve just experienced a lengthy heatwave in the UK and it certainly made me think about climate change. It’s one thing to hear about it and another to truly see it with your own eyes.
Heat records are being set all over the world this July, and people in large numbers – mainly the young, the elderly, and the poor – are dying because of it.
Yes, climate change kills. The link between heat-trapping gases and global warming is proven far past reasonable doubt, and it is absolutely unconscionable that governments – seemingly helpless in the grip of extraction-dominated economic forces – are failing so miserably to take the actions necessary to protect public health and avert worsening catastrophes in years to come.
The reality of global climate disruption poses an ethical challenge – for social workers, and every right-thinking citizen – of the most acute sort: Act to demand change now, or passively succumb to complicity in a systemically-driven culture of death.