Positive and negative impact of social media in the COVID-19 era


Advocate Christ Medical Center


Social Media usage has been shown to increase in situations of natural disaster and other crises. It is crucial for the scientific community to understand how social media works in order to enhance our capabilities and make a more resilient community. Through social media communication, the scientific community can collaborate around the globe in a faster way the most important findings of a disease, with a decreased knowledge transition time to other healthcare providers (HCPs). This is greatly important to coordinate research and knowledge during a time of uncertainty and protentional fake news. During the 2020 global pandemic, social media has become an ally but also a potential threat. High volumes of information compressed into a short period can result in overwhelmed HCPs trying to discern fact from noise. A major limitation of social media currently is the ability to quickly disseminate false information which can confuse and distract. Society relies on educated scientists and physicians to be leaders in delivering fact-based information to the public. For this reason, in times of crises it is important to be leaders in the conversation of social media to guide correct and helpful information and knowledge to the masses looking for answers.

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