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| Published: September 27, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic: How does social media affect psychological well-being? – a synthesis of literature review

Nishath Anjum

Department of Business Administration, Metropolitan University, Sylhet, Bangladesh Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.173/20200803

DOI: 10.25215/0803.173

ABSTRACT

The role of social media during the widespread outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is associated with significant effect on psychological well-being of people. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube played a crucial role in making the isolated people feel connected, providing information regarding the precautions, disease statistics and safety measures. At the same time, a huge amount of health-threatening misinformation, rumor and fake news is spreading at a faster rate which causing panic, fear and anxiety among people. This review outlines both the positive and negative impact of social media on psychological well-being of people during the coronavirus pandemic. The existing relevant literature were retrieved via a literature search. Published articles were classified according to their overall themes and then summarized. The results showed that use of social media significantly associated with psychological well-being. Viewing stressful content (i.e., severity of the outbreak, statistics of infected people, misinformation or rumors about outbreak) was associated with more negative psychological outcomes like depression. However, viewing heroic acts, speeches from experts, knowledge of the disease as well as various entertaining and creative contents were associated with more positive psychological impact and less depression. The study highlights the need for timely public health communication from official sources to get people know the authentic information, close monitoring of social media to manage rumors as well as ensuring effective use of social media to create awareness about the outbreak. However, the available literature has emerged from only a few of the affected countries and may not reflect the experience of persons living in other parts of the world. Thus, in future, it is suggested to cover more representative research from other affected countries.

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Nishath Anjum @ nishath@metrouni.edu.bd

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ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429

18.01.173/20200803

10.25215/0803.173

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Published in   Volume 08, Issue 3, July-September, 2020