A change in our news feeds: How recent events affect social media.

With social distancing and travel restrictions still in place, our news feeds continue to look different. However, that doesn’t mean the content is any less meaningful or attention-grabbing – we’re still scrolling, after all. According to an article that Forbes published during the height of the pandemic in the US, Facebook messaging was up 50%, Instagram usage increased 40%, and the number of daily active users on Twitter spiked 23%.

So as we constantly refresh our feeds, we might start to see influencers in a different light. They may not post as frequently, but their content is all the more meaningful and authentic. Influencers are using their voices to spread messages they might not have considered before, while encouraging others to speak up about issues that impact our day-to-day lives.

For instance, the Black Lives Matter movement has prompted conversations around change, specifically political reform, social disparity, and responsibility. These conversations oftentimes encourage action, as influencers have platforms to share tools to help build stronger communities, whether that be through sharing petitions, ways to contact local representatives, links to organizations, or lists of local businesses that support and incorporate diversity at their core.

In addition, we’re seeing influencers – from athletes to celebrities to bloggers – speaking up about the global health crisis, using the hashtag #WearADamnMask to reiterate the importance of taking proper precautions when you leave the house. One of the most recent influencers to take a stand was none other than Bill Nye (the Science Guy, of course). He posted on TikTok to explain why masks make a difference and prove effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Turning to social media during quarantine is a given at this point. However, what we see now is much different and, arguably, much more impactful.

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