1.1 Background of the study
Social media became a vital way to communicate during a period of social isolation and reduced interaction with others. Social networking networks are designed to bring people together, and they have greatly aided in keeping the globe linked through the pandemic. Because many people have been asked to stay at home, they have taken to social media to keep in touch with friends and family and to pass the time.The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on how the general public, actors, world leaders, and experts use social media. Internet memes have been used to share awareness and find fun and diversion from the pandemic using social networking services. However, social isolation has caused many people to change their lifestyles, putting a burden on their mental health. Many social media-based online counseling programs were developed, and they quickly gained attention because they could safely associate mental health professionals with anyone who needed them.COVID-19 is often referred to as an infodemic, in addition to being a global epidemic. Users who have direct access to content that platforms like Twitter and YouTube are more vulnerable to misinformation and false facts. Individual activities may be highly influenced by this knowledge, restricting group cohesion and, as a result, the efficacy of government anti-virus countermeasures. Politicians, advocacy parties, and national and state-level health associations have used platforms to exchange knowledge easily and reach a large number of citizens.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection has been a major public health concern around the world. COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, a new coronavirus that recently originated from China. COVID-19 has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) since March 2020. As a result, preventing the pandemic from spreading further in public and health-care environments is critical. Evidence of the influence of social media on health awareness, attitudes, and outcomes has been identified by academics, indicating that these resources can be useful in addressing human and population health needs. The majority of research focuses on particular interventions and techniques that differ significantly in terms of focus, target audience, theoretical foundations, mode of execution, accessibility, and usability. Because of the vast range of methods, it's impossible to figure out what functions and how, and comparing approaches is difficult. Social distancing, checking any suspicious case, sitting at home, avoiding social events, nursing patients, and touch tracing are some of the general techniques and recommendations. Few nations, on the other hand, are enacting more stringent policies to combat the pandemic, such as lockdowns and mass monitoring.People used social media to gather information and news before the COVID-19 epidemic, and since the virus's outbreak in December 2019, people in many countries have used social media to learn about the virus.
Following the implementation of social distancing policies, several social media platforms registered a significant uptick in use. Since many people are unable to communicate with their friends and relatives in person, social media has been the primary means of maintaining these important bonds. For eg, during the last month of March 2020, Facebook's analytics department announced a 50 percent rise in total messaging. In addition, WhatsApp has seen a 40% rise in use. 1st Furthermore, since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a noticeable spike in the use of Zoom.
Connecting with others fosters a feeling of identity and psychosocial stability, which improves emotional health and lowers the risk of anxiety and depression, according to comprehensive psychology studies. The constant use of social media and the overabundance of information has been linked to a spike in depression and anxiety. Any global pandemic will cause increased anxiety and panic. Following social distancing steps can lead to feelings of depression and alienation in individuals, as well as an increase in anxiety, and can be quite daunting."Many adults are still experiencing specific detrimental effects on their mental health and safety as a result of their concerns and stress about the coronavirus, such as trouble sleeping (36 percent) or feeding (32 percent), increased alcohol intake or drug use (12 percent), and deteriorating chronic problems (12 percent)." COVID-19 has also expanded the use of social media by the World Health Organization (WHO). After COVID-19 was declared a Public Health Emergency, the WHO Information Network for Epidemics website was established. The 20-person team works to offer evidence-based solutions to refute rumours spread across sites to ensuring that anybody searching for "coronavirus" on social media or Google is directed to the WHO website or the Centers for Disease Control, which has accurate information.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
I. To see if using social media sites to increase public awareness of COVID-19 as a pandemic disease is successful.
III. To see how using social media sites will help people defend themselves from COVID-19 as a pandemic.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
I. Social media sites did not increase public awareness of COVID-19 as a pandemic disease.
II. People's attitudes about COVID-19 as a pandemic epidemic shift didn’t change as result of their use of social media platforms.
III. social media sites did not help people defend themselves from COVID-19 as a pandemic.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The COVID19 pandemic poses a significant threat to our daily lives. In these days, it critical to ensure that research ethics and science honesty requirements are maintained rapidly evolving COVID19 pandemic research initiatives and publications on apan European level. The work focused on social media practices during the pandemic.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
During COVID-19, this research investigates the effect of social media on Nigerians' mental health. As a case study, residents of Lagos State were included. As a result, extrapolating the results to other Nigerian states could be difficult. The choice of Lagos State is based on its position as Nigeria's economic center, with a population of over 15 million people. Lagos State is noted for being Nigeria's most cosmopolitan state, with a wide range of cultural diversity. Furthermore, Lagos State was the first in Nigeria to announce lockout, and it has the largest number of COVID-19 incidents.
1.7 LIMITATION OF STUDY
There were a number of study drawbacks, the most significant of which being that the data were self-reported by self-selected subjects, and the lockout time limited the ability to collect more representative data. It was difficult to locate people who were interested in taking part in this research.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
social media: Social media are interactive technologies that allow the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
covid 19: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
World Health Organization Coronavirus. 2020. [2020-04-07]. https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_2.
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