In isolation, individuals are more dependent upon internet platforms than ever before. The internet is used for work, entertainment, education and socializing now, so an overwhelming amount of times is spent looking at our screens. It is necessary to find the balance between prioritizing your mental health and your social life. According to the NHS, Instagram was ‘ranked the worst for mental health’ in a survey taken by around 1,500 teenagers. Instagram and other social media apps can worsen ‘anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying, body image’ issues and FOMO (the fear of missing out). Watching celebrities in their humongous houses, doing their workouts and eating their healthy meals can make ordinary people feel bad. Social media makes comparing ourselves to others inevitable, and with all this extra free time, we feel we are meant to spend our time a certain way. Using privilege or a platform to show off, sell and capitalize from this situation during isolation can be very destructive. For people who are not able to afford a large house or expensive meals, following influencers all the time can be very devastating to someone’s self-confidence and mental health.
On the other hand, social media in isolation and this global pandemic is bringing people of all different races, genders and sexualities together. Normal people are sharing their experiences, connecting with people from half-way across the world, realizing many people are going through similar experiences. The idea that millions of people all over the world are experiencing the same discomfort with our new situation puts many slightly more at ease- convincing them they can survive this. Virtual communities remind people that while they may be physically isolated, they do not need to feel isolated. Online proms, graduations and birthday parties show us life does not need to stop because we are in isolation. In fact, it gives me more hope to see how humanity always finds a way to form new relationships and experiences. While our humanity is being taken away because we cannot hug, smile at each other and socialise in real life, we are connecting online. People are making an effort to make other people happy.