COVID Has Expanded My Network on Social Media

Home > Blog > COVID Has Expanded My Network on Social Media
COVID Has Expanded My Network on Social Media

Oct 19, 2020

There once was a time when I could laugh with my friends. We could hug and high five, and even sit next to each other in the cramped seats of Elkins. We could get Starbucks before hiking up to the CCB (two iced chai tea lattes with soy), and we were free to gather together. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember what that exactly feels like. There is no comparison to being together in person. Although these luxuries are irreplaceable, the next best thing is staying in touch with loved ones through social media.

My social media usage has fluctuated during COVID, but primarily skyrocketing at a seemingly never-ending rate. When surrounded with family and friends, I am less likely to use social media as I am communicating with them in person, but COVID has left me somewhat isolated. I moved back to Malibu this week at the start of my senior year, and that has caused a definite increase. Being away from my boyfriend and friends from home has led me to use social media to keep in touch with them.

I wanted to measure my actual social media usage and put it into numbers to fully comprehend how much of my day is spent staring at a screen (especially with all classes being through zoom this semester). I decided the best way to measure my actual social media usage was to go through Screen Time on the Settings app. For my social media apps, I had spent 7 hours a week on Snapchat and 5 hours a week on Instagram. That means on average, I spend an entire hour each day active on Snapchat! While this may seem excessive to some, Snapchat is my primary mode of communication with my closest friends. We like to send each other pictures throughout the day and use the message tool instead of texting through Messages. I personally use Snapchat and Instagram for different forms of communication, so it is not surprising that they are both high numbers. I use Instagram for the typical social media aspect of posting pictures and keeping in touch with a larger audience. In other words, Snapchat helps me connect with my closest friends, while I use Instagram to keep tabs on basically anyone I have come across in all walks of life. My Instagram includes friends from middle school, high school, college, sports teams, family members, community outreach groups, and pretty much anyone else I have met. COVID has expanded my network on social media and has opened my eyes to the personalities and beliefs of my friends who have voiced their opinions on various movements surrounding the pandemic.

COVID has had an interesting effect on my social media usage as I feel I am more likely to connect with friends online. I am not “busy” with one friend in particular and can virtually “hang out” with multiple friends at once. I also believe COVID has made everyone more appreciative of what they have, so I have been able to connect with some friends I had not spoken to in years. COVID has given me a different outlook on the world and increased my want to connect with friends on social media.

Annabel Genton, a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s media law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the above essay in response to the following question: How much time do you spend using social media? Has usage gone up or down since the onset of Covid-19? Why? The class covers copyright and social media. Annabel is an Advertising major.

Sign Up for Pfeiffer Law's Monthly Newsletter

Contact Jon and his team today.