The creative sector has been hit hard during the pandemic. Most of the industry was shut down, and for many it was as if the world had stopped. It presented a striking juxtaposition to what was going on at home, as people streamed movies and consumed content at an all-time high.
Inevitably, during this extended period of isolation, many turned to social media to stay connected and be entertained. But instead of keeping us connected, the increased use of social media has led to spikes in anxiety and depression. One study even suggests that social media doesn’t just make mental health problems worse, it causes them.
The increase in widespread use of social media has resulted in less connection and more anxiety
Social media gives us a 24/7 window into people’s lives, and it’s usually not a precise window. Organized and filtered flows can fuel a sense of comparison and cause stress. The simple answer is to just log out, but we live in a world where life (and even work) without social media doesn’t really seem possible – and yet we see people going offline from some social media platforms.
Vox found in a survey of its readers that the increased anxiety and feelings of isolation resulting from spending more time on social media has led many people to quit large-scale social media platforms, such as than Facebook and Twitter. In a 2019 study conducted by Origin Hill, their research arm found that 34% of Gen Zers were leaving social media, and various reports and studies indicated that this exile increased during the pandemic. There are many reasons for their departure, but the two main ones? It is a waste of time and far too negative.
Instead of quitting social media altogether, the Vox study shows that readers sought havens from niche social media communities. Niche social platforms make it easy for people with common interests to connect, creating an increased sense of community and more positive interactions. In contrast, when we open our larger mainstream apps like Facebook and Twitter, it often feels less like a community and more like a step into the dark, setting us up for the onslaught of politics, over-shared individuals, trolls. and simply overconsumption. news (real and fake). More and more people are looking for niche platforms as a safe and healthy alternative.
Why creatives seek community
So how has the entertainment industry reacted to this? When the world stopped, a niche social media platform allowed creatives to connect and share ideas. Stage 32 enables people from all segments of the entertainment industry to network and learn.
Those who join the community are immediately connected with others in their industry and have access to educational content to take their skills to the next level.
Simply put, people are leveraging niche platforms and communities more, because of their common interests and similar values. Most importantly, they have a sense of connection. The isolation caused by the pandemic has certainly led most to seek supportive communities. Niche social networks provide that exact environment. Even where there are hundreds of thousands of people on the platform, there is still a strong sense of connection due to the shared interest and empathy that comes from people with similar activities and goals.
Stay connected through social media in a healthy way to protect your mental health
People don’t have to give up online connections altogether in order to maintain their sanity. Instead, it’s time to be more reflective about the communities in which you choose to participate. âTo preserve our sanity and stay in touch with each other, we don’t have to quit all social media,â says Stage 32 founder Richard Fond âRBâ. “Instead, we need to create and find more niche social platforms that match our interests and values.” Step 32 maintains policies such as banning trolling, spamming, or abusive language, which has led the community to become self-regulating and overwhelmingly positive, regardless of background or skill level. This is important for an industry like entertainment which is generally rife with criticism and comparison.
Whether you want to stay in touch with others in your industry, a particular fitness community, a music fan community, or even a baking community, niche social media platforms can help us reap the benefits of social media and actually improve our mental health.