Social media: A fundamental necessity in our society throughout the pandemic.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a global health crisis that has had an extreme impact on the way we perceive our world and our daily lives. Mass media is known as a powerful force shaping how we experience the world and ourselves. With social media playing such an essential role in our daily lives, the way we communicate has changed dramatically. Some examples of new media can be coming from our social media, news articles, podcast, or even blogs. We would fixate on the role of social media in our everyday lives, for it is the most commonly used by people, especially for the youths.

Social Media is a place where anyone can get a ton of information at just a press of a button. In the time of Covid-19, finding valuable information about this is crucial. It helps us become knowledgeable and keeps us updated in keeping track of the damages and lives taken by Covid-19. Despite being a good source of information, social media can also be chock-full misleading and misinforming articles. The deadly disease is a threat to people, but it can also the fake news to spread online.

A study made by WHO, Wunderman Thompson, the University of Melbourne and Pollfish, determined how teens and young adults interact with social media posts. Their finding showed 43% of the social media users would share or post about Covid-19 or “scientific content” but opts to share what is trendy or what interests them. The majority of them are very much aware of the severity of the virus and are afraid of it. The World Health Organization is trying to encourage younger generations to use their social media wisely and help keep people informed about the virus. These will help the youths to protect themselves, the people they love, and the people who can see their posts to avoid exposure to false pieces of information. Social media users should be careful and responsible for posting misleading information to prevent fake news, fear, panic, and skepticism online.

At the end of the day, we cannot deny how social media plays an integral role in our every day lives especially with how we communicate. With the outbreak of Covid-19, many countries have depended on dozens of social media platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and more for them to stay connected to their work, education, friends and families. Social media has also utilized its purpose in terms of healthcare during the pandemic, such as apps that are used for contract tracing. It opened a new dimension for healthcare to provide a common medium for patients, professionals, and of course the public to help them communicate regarding health related issues. Without a doubt, social media has certainly changed our lives, mainly helping us improve our way of communicating for the better.


Traditional Media:

A Medium that shaped our Society

For a long while, Traditional Media has helped give out information for many people around the world. There are still many consumers of this kind of media despite the new digital media or the internet. In a world without traditional media, it would be strenuous to get reliable information across to people. There would be a lot of misinformation that spreads and might mislead people. Without a credible source of information, there won't be any reliable information.

Traditional Media has made development in our society. Older generations lived through a world where traditional media were a part of their life and somehow shaped the community. Traditional Media sources or outlets are now a part of the New Media. Although they are classified separately, traditional media is still as crucial as it was then. Traditional media paved the way for a better and faster spread of news and information. There is better coverage of information when both types of media are acknowledged. People who usually use social media get new knowledge on their phones, while others get theirs from the television, papers, or radio. It reaches a multitude of audiences since more people have more access to it. Since most of the media we see online come from traditional means, it is assumed to be more credible and reliable since people already trust their brand. It helps boosts business and provides the consumers with the accurate information they need.

Our world would be chaotic and unruly without traditional media. Since information couldn't spread across cities or nations, people would be unaware of the current happenings in the world. Communication from different countries would be difficult. Information coming from the source would be transmitted orally. With the absence of Television, Radio, and Newspapers, people will find difficulties getting new knowledge about society.

Importance and different functions of media:
1. Media acts as the channel of information and knowledge.
2. Media facilitate informed debates between diverse social actors.
3. Media provides us with much of what we learn about the world.
4. Media are means by which society learns about itself and builds a sense of community.
5. Function as a watchdog of government in all of its forms.
6. Media are essential facilitators of democratic processes.
7. Vehicle for cultural expression and cultural cohesion within and between nations.

New media, in simple words, are types of media that are delivered to us digitally. It could be a podcast, blog, music, or website. Everything that we use nowadays is considered new media. Especially if they involve the usage of mobile phones or the internet itself, even though we have already classified traditional media as a part of new media, a world without it would be messy. Traditional media has proved to be convenient in gathering information and communicating with one another. Despite people being in favor of new media as it is much more suitable for our generation, traditional media remains one of the most important sources of information in our world. It is easier to gather knowledge and news about what goes on in our lives with new media, yet the information that floats around the internet may sometimes be fake. Unlike traditional media, the knowledge released comes from reliable sources. Imagining a life without the traditional media is hard because we won't be here without it existing in the first place.



A Hopeful Comeback

Can you still imagine your life without the pandemic? It assuredly does feel foreign nowadays to relive those moments, especially with how face-to-face classes were held. It is different from how our learning environment is if we compare it to what we do today. Before the sudden strike of this pandemic, students were busily sitting through lectures in schools and were probably talking to their friends about their plans after finishing classes. Some days may feel like a burden, but at the end of the day, we students always had something to look forward to before this pandemic happened. It may be a quiz you studied hard for, a presentation you want to give your best in, hangouts with friends after class, or simply just sitting inside the classroom and learning. Before the pandemic, we experienced days where things were hard. But we got to overcome those hardships whenever the weekend came, watching movies with families, going to the arcade, or eating out and enjoying the fresh air without the burden of masks and face shields made up for the hard days we went through. These memories we have collected from how life before felt nostalgic, yet it has not been long enough since we had to stay in the confines of our home. Life before the pandemic gave us the freedom to enjoy our lives to the fullest. If we compare our lives from before to today, the pandemic has only given us many limitations, especially in our education.

Just recently, the Department of Education has started to launch the return of face-to-face classes in the country. As of October 18, DepEd has cleared 30 pilot schools across regions, namely Bicol, Western and Central Visayas, Zamboanga, Northern Mindanao, and Soccskargen. 59 schools were chosen, but due to circumstances, the numbers have changed. As the face-to-face classes are starting, many things may happen that will affect the students.

Students Might get COVID

Many students apart of the pilot classes are young children that are not yet eligible to take vaccinations. Although safety precautions are essential, there is still a possibility that the students get sick or bring home the virus to their loved ones. It will make it harder for a family and disrupt the education of the child.

Fewer Distractions

Online classes are challenging, especially when there are multiple noises and distractions at home. The face-to-face style will make it easier to focus because there are fewer distractions at school. Students will be able to listen well and grasp the understanding and lessons. There are many possible effects that students may encounter.

Social Interactions

Face-to-face classes then were filled with memorable interactions with classmates and teachers. Unfortunately, due to strict health protocols, interacting with people in class is limited. Students have to keep their distance and make sure that masks are always on. Social skills will still be developed, but not in a way students have anticipated.

What to do if f2f returns in today's pandemic:
-Get fully vaccinated.
-Students should remember to wear face masks and face shields everywhere they go. Make sure your face mask covers your nose, mouth, and chin. Avoid taking the protective gear at all times.
-Avoid the 3Cs: spaces that are closed, crowded, or involve close contact.
-Always wash your hands with soap and water. It eliminates germs that may be on your hands, including viruses.
-Always bring your sanitizers or alcohol spray bottle.
-Cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of used tissues immediately and clean hands regularly.
-Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, especially those that are regularly touched, such as door handles, faucets, and phone screens.
-Maintain social distancing from other people as much as possible. -Strictly follow the guidelines and safety protocols of the school about the COVID-19.
-The student should not enter the school if feeling symptoms of COVID-19. Isolate yourself until you recover.

Hopefully, the positive results will pull through so students can enjoy and keep safe in a face-to-face setting.