Depressed Economy yet Vibrant Social Media: A Catch-22 Scenario?

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen entire countries going into lockdown and people spending significantly more time on social media. With online content streaming and subscription services showing unprecedented growth, has this created a catch-22 scenario with also unparalleled social consequences?

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Photo courtesy of Siavash Ghanbari.

The Social Media Subscription Market

Unlike many other markets deeply affected by the circumstances, the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the revenue of social media subscription companies. They reached an estimated worth of $64 billion in 2020, and after the market stabilizes by 2023, their growth could reach $103.7 billion at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8%.

Social Media, Isolation, and Depression

Several studies have demonstrated a link between the use of social media and changes in human behavior. In particular, it has been associated with negative effects on well-being such as depression and loneliness, as well as changes in social support, concentration, self-esteem, autonomy, and self-acceptance.

The Social Dilemma

The documentary “The Social Dilemma” has recently brought some of these complex issues to light, triggering discussions that most people inside and outside the tech industry consider long overdue.

Social Media and the Pandemic

The lockdown that has restricted most people to their homes and the negative effects social media has been proven to have on well-being have created a perfect storm.

Written by

Anthropologist & User Experience Designer. I write about science and technology. Robot whisperer. VR enthusiast. Gamer. @yisela_at

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