The pitfalls of social media – when “going viral” goes wrong

Hey everyone! I think we can all agree that the start to 2020 has been anything but boring on the social media and world news front. I, for one, am -NOT- here to add to the ever-growing (by the second) click bait surrounding the dreaded ‘C’ word but want to chat about how in this instance, going viral is doing damage.

Yes, friends, I’m talking about that Corona Virus – the one you can’t seem to escape on Facebook no matter how damn hard you try.

I want to make a note that I’m by no means downplaying the significant health risks that so many humans are dealing with at the moment, and the necessity for governments to keep their people informed. But, can we all agree to take a step back from the world-ending narrative and try not to give power to the fear-mongering hype going on at the moment? Here’s why:

All across Australia at the moment, small business is suffering

Small business owners across the country are reeling and some struggling after months of horrendous bushfires and health threats in an already tough time of the year. Never fear, these are tough people that overcome adversity at the drop of a hat but each time mass hysteria impacts the buying habits of consumers – it makes business and life just that bit harder. 

Pelican Banks – Image courtesy of Fraser Island Boat Charters

Altering your travel plans within Australia? There’s a tourism operator that wants you to know a few things:

Guys, Australia is a spectacular country filled with amazing experiences and destinations to explore (we happen to think our little patch of paradise is up there!). Please visit the places you’ve been longing to see in our backyard and for those that you’ve booked in with – check-in with that business before cancelling and I’m sure you’ll find that the destination is thriving. Need some proof of how a destination can absolutely rebuild and restore faith in audiences online? Check out Kangaroo Island who showcase images and live video of the island in real-time, to show that even after the height of devastation – that Australia and tourism are open for business.

Tourism is facing a very tough 2020, but we can help turn it around by that narratives we choose to share and buy into online.

Let’s leave a social media footprint full of love, not fear.

For some, there is a very real danger at the moment and high-level precautions absolutely need to be taken but for others, we are stuck in an overwhelming cycle of media that is currently causing widespread panic (dare we mention the toilet paper outage?!). We can be cautious without being in a constant state of panic. Let’s try and leave a footprint online that encourages togetherness at this time, and not fear. 

Remember, always fact check what you’re reading online before blindly sharing it into the universe.