Social media in COVID-19: building resilience or sowing stress?
When the circuit-breaker came into effect in April 2020, Singaporeans suspended their daily lives to check the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Social media and computer-mediated-communication became the lifeline for communication as well as breaking news. However, social media was considered by many to be a double-edged sword and often deigned the culprit of misinformation and rumors. In this webinar, I discuss the preliminary findings from social media posts and survey data collected in February-June 2020. Social media posts tagged #stayhomeforsg denote themes of positive emotion, relationships, and belonging. Results from the survey data suggest the importance of social trust in battling uncertainty and social media rumors. Controlling for social media news consumption, greater trust in one’s neighbours reduced the experience of stress. I discuss the implications, and pitch the #StayHomeforSG dashboard as a tool for building greater social trust and compliance among Singaporeans.