Social media trends unite people despite social distancing

This "Draw a Chicken" challenge on Instagram encourages people to digitally draw a chicken and tag others to do the same, adding on to the line of drawings using Instagram Stories. // Image courtesy of Micayla Roth / Online Executive Editor.

With millions of Americans stuck at home, many people are finding themselves turning to social media as a source of comfort and connection with others. Recently, there have been new trends spreading across social media platforms: for example, #untiltomorrow, “Draw a Carrot,” “See 10 do 10” (a push-up challenge), female empowerment messages, and personalized bingo boards, have been frequently shared to bring people together. While teens and adults are staying in their homes, social media can be both entertaining and a good way to connect with friends and family that we cannot communicate with at the moment. 

These trends are a way to boost self esteem and mental health. The trend #untiltomorrow was started by social media influencers and Instagram and Twitter stars. The purpose of the trend was to post a silly or embarrassing photo of themselves for 24 hours to show people that even famous stars and influencers are not perfect and you do not need to change yourself for social media. 

According to technology publisher Digital Trends, “As millions self-isolate in their homes to slow the spread of the virus, officially known as COVID-19, many are turning to screens for comfort. Screen time reports have skyrocketed as people cling to social media.” Because people cannot go see therapists or go to doctors as often, many mental health advocates are using social media to help patients cope with stress or a certain disorder and spread positivity. While these times may take a toll on mental health, many medical professionals and therapists are helping the people in need.

“From my perspective I think that these social media trends are helping a lot of people that need it right now. Influencers and professionals are making it easier for people on the media to cope with their personal issues, which is great for the community online,” Shira Gabay (’23) said. 

Mental health plays a major role in people’s lives, and the fact that they cannot see or communicate in person about their issues makes staying healthy very hard.

“I think that all the challenges and trends on social media are a good way to give everyone something to do and keep people in touch with each other. It helps people have fun while they are stuck at home with no way to see their friends,” Samantha Feeny (’23) said. 

Social media is an alternative right now for hanging out with friends and family; Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter can be a positive environment right now and help with mental health. While this is a worldwide fight across the globe, many people on social media have made it easier to stay at home by creating trends and making social media a more positive and entertaining place.