Whether it’s a Zoom conference screenshot, homeschooling your kids, baking bread, or making TikToks— the one thing that is certain, in these uncertain times, is that people are sharing everything they’re doing online. People who never really used social media or relied on video conferencing, are now tied to their phones and laptops. Never before have social platforms been so essential to our lives—and maybe even our sanity. They’re keeping us occupied, connected, creative, laughing, and sharing—but will we use these social platforms as actively in a post-COVID world?
As we move into week “whatever” of isolation, we continue to socialize online, but the fervor feels less intense than it did a month ago. Maybe we’re already tired of virtual socialization? I made a comment in week two (after many Zoom meetings and parties) that, “as someone who isn’t normally super social—I have never been more social in my life—and I’m exhausted.” It feels inevitable that people will slowly start to ‘flake out’ (at the last minute) from virtual meetups, just like they used to in “real” life. When getting together feels like an obligation, it loses its luster. So… it only seems fitting that we could already be growing weary of the time we’re spending online.
Post-COVID Social Media
At this point, the choices in content feel pretty beige. That’s not to say that their isn’t great content out there BUT you have a lot of people going LIVE for their third walk of the day, pictures of sourdough loaves, and at home exercise videos—it’s all been done and yet we continue to “like,” look, and watch because it’s habitual.
Will we spend less time on social media when we are, once again, free to roam and hang with our friends? Possibly—but in a post-COVID world, maybe we will want to share/post more than ever, since our backdrop will no longer be restricted.
Posting an Instagram story about going to a restaurant will feel far more exciting than it did pre-COVID (at least for a little while). The things we took for granted, are the things that will make for solid content. Social media will be a blank slate for everyone to fill with ‘life after isolation’ content. Imagine how badly people will want to share the moments when they are reunited with their best friends, their families—if anything, social media is going to be inundated with feel good, reunion content.
Will We Change?
I think most of us would agree that going through this time without social platforms would be incredibly challenging. While these platforms are flawed in so many ways (that’s a whole other piece)—there is something to be said about the fact we can access each other so easily without leaving our homes, it’s pretty incredible.
Will we take a step back from all these social platforms, post-COVID? Will we view this media differently now that it has become such an integral part of our daily lives? I think the answer lies in how much we are (or will be) affected by this time in isolation. The things we used to think were so important may feel less substantial. Being separated from friends and family may shift our priorities and therefore affect how much time we spend online in the future—but since this pandemic is far from over, it remains to be seen.