Social media platforms can be explained as a new, interactive, instant engagement type of interpersonal communication. Social media platforms are online community networks that offer messaging, photo, video, audio, sending/receiving files, and chat or discussion environments for users. It seems that social media platforms, whose use is increasing every day, are not just a channel for entertainment or leisure as of recent times. Social media platforms are currently used in many different areas, including social, cultural, economic and health fields. This diversity in the use of social media networks has also begun to attract attention in the field of health communication, especially in the era of pandemics.
The use of social media as a channel in epidemic communication happened for the first time with the H1N1 virus. In 2013, the H7N9 virus emerged in China, and in this outbreak, social media platforms played an important role in communicating with the masses. In China, official institutions transferred new information from social media networks, and the platforms also contribute to the accurate dissemination of information . Conscious use of social media during epidemic periods also occurred with the EBOLA outbreak. The World Health Organization, in particular, has emphasized that Twitter played a key role in the EBOLA outbreak. The corona virus, which appeared in China in the last month of 2019, has spread all over the world in a very short time and the physiological/psychological effects of the outbreak on humans have been investigated. Covid-19 was declared a global epidemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on February 11, 2020. At the beginning of the Corona virus process, social media platforms were often used by both state officials, institutions and citizens.
Covid-19 has begun to affect societies both physically and psychologically. No definitive treatment for the virus has yet been found. Covid-19 is known as a disease that needs to be treated both physically and psychologically. As a starting point of the research, the psychological states of social media users in the Covid-19 process were examined in the perception of fear. Fear, defined as an emotion felt in the face of a real danger that threatens human life, was addressed in a qualitative pattern using a semi-structured data collection technique. In this study, which is a cross-sectional type of research, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven people between 11.01.2021-15.01.2021. Participants were given their own time frame and sent an individual interview link. The participants ' credentials were stored throughout and after the research. Participants are named from K1 to - K7. The study group consists of seven people, four women and three men.
In the study, themes were first created from raw data obtained at the end of the interviews. Themes are collected in four groups independent of each other. The first group is designed to reveal the advantages/disadvantages of platforms in epidemic periods; the second group is designed to reveal the impact of platforms on fear perception; the third group is designed to reveal the level at which traditional media and networks trigger fear perception in epidemic periods; and the fourth group is designed to reveal the role of platforms in pandemic periods.
In the research, the fact that the use of platforms is cheap, providing access to information at any time, providing up-to-date flow, continuous communication and ease of tracking by official sources have created an advantage for users. In the study, participants also noted that social media reveals disadvantages in the process, especially giving emphasis to false news. Participants stated that they did not believe the news without confirmation. In the study, it was found that participants were exposed to a feeling of fear as a result of the shares they saw on social media. The fear type of participants was clustered in two groups. The first group is the loss of family and loved ones, and the other is the idea that the country will deteriorate economically with unemployment. The study found that some of the participants were exposed to feelings of fear by other social media users. Three participants also left their followers or limited their platform usage time to prevent this. Not all participants in the study considered terminating their membership from social media platforms. The study found that all but one participant viewed social media as a sharper fear-building tool compared to traditional means of communication. Finally, it is emphasized that social media platforms create a very effective identity and raise users’ awareness.
outbreaks, fear, social media, Covid-19, descriptive analysis
Sosyal medya platformları son yıllarda salgın hastalıklar sürecinde iletişim aracı olarak kullanılmasının yanında kullanıcıların, ruhsal ve fiziksel durumlarını etkileyen bir araç olarak da literatürde yer edinmeye başlamıştır. Geçmiş dönemlerde görülen EBOLA, SARS, MERS ve H1N1 gibi salgınlarda platformlar, kullanıcıları hem bilgilendirmiş hem de onların ruhsal/fiziki durumları üzerinde olumsuz etkiler ortaya çıkartmıştır. Bu araştırma Covid-19 sürecinde sosyal medya kullanımının korku algısına olan etkisini betimlemek üzere yarı yapılandırılmış veri toplama tekniği ile nitel desende ele alınmıştır. Sosyal medya ağları, geleneksel medyaya kıyasla katılımcıların korku algısını daha fazla etkilemiştir. Araştırmada, sosyal medya platformlarında yer alan Covid-19 paylaşımlarının, katılımcıların korku algılarını farklı düzeylerde tetiklediği saptanmıştır. Katılımcıların korkuları en çok; aile/sevdiklerini kaybetme ile kişisel/milli ekonomik kayıplar altında kümelenmiştir. Sosyal medya platformlarının çoğunlukla haber/bilgi fonksiyonunda avantaj; yalan haber/bilgi özelinde dezavantaj sağladığı saptanmıştır. Araştırmada katılımcıların daha çok sosyal medya platformlarının dezavantajlarına maruz kaldıkları ortaya çıkmıştır. Sosyal medya platformların bu olumsuz etkilerine rağmen süreçte kullanıcıları, virüs hakkında bilinçlendirdiği de diğer bulgular arasında yer edinmiştir.
|Journal Section||Research Articles|
|Publication Date||June 30, 2021|
|Published in Issue||Year 2021 Volume: 3 Issue: 1|
|APA||Gülnar, B. & Acar, N. (2021). Salgın Hastalıklar Döneminde Sosyal Medyanın Korku Algısında Meydana Getirdiği Değişimin İncelenmesi: Covid-19/ Examination of The Change Caused by Social Media in The Perception of Fear During the Period of Epidemics: Covid-19 . Nitel Sosyal Bilimler , 3 (1) , 140-163 . DOI: 10.47105/nsb.904351|