2020 was like a vertigo-experience for all of us-sometimes it felt like living secluded, confined in the idea of a fictitious border at the edge of the world, and harking back to those memories we have made before the pandemic tumbled upon us.

Governments across the world implemented strict guidelines to maintain social distancing; consequently, we wound up reminiscing about the good old past of being together with our friends and loved ones, needless to say, to keep ourselves safe from the novel coronavirus.

But while being trapped in our own homes, we found ourselves rejuvenated-at least for the time being-through several social media platforms. These platforms made our lives a bit easier in tough times and connected us over the Internet.

COVID-19 has pushed us to a new horizon. As the virus started to transmit from person-to-person, health experts emphasized on social distancing, which caused us to work, attend classes, and run businesses from home. Therefore, many social media platforms became popular overnight, such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, to smoothly run essential operations. Although various businesses shut down to maintain social distancing, numerous offices and educational institutions continued their operational activities.

But, what about people's entertainment or connection to the world for their mental wellbeing? Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Likee, and Snapchat have made us more connected to our friends, family, and peers than ever. In the physical world, where we cannot meet and greet most of the people in our lives, these platforms have easily connected us all.

Because of this, we have entered a new era of communication. The technology was readily available to the people, but this unprecedented scenario has necessarily made us more tech-savvy, giving us a boost to enter a more connected, more digitized world. And this is similar to Bangladesh as well.

The Government of Bangladesh had announced general holidays and suggested people stay at home unless there is an emergency. And to keep everyone healthy, most of the people obliged and remained in isolation.

To make this isolated life more bearable, all these media have kept pushing their boundaries to connect more people to their loved ones with various instinctive features. On top of these, multiple social media have started giving the users correct ways to stay healthy and keep all of their loved ones fit, which came to be convenient for many people.

When the first wave of coronavirus reached its peak, various false news regarding the virus started to spread, which created confusion among many people. Various apps opened up their own dashboards to disseminate credible news and information, sourcing from credible organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO). Additionally, this information flow kept the users away from all the myths circulating about coronavirus. Therefore, users became more aware of the disease and helped them to take proper precautions.

Likee, Singapore-based short video creation and sharing platform had also taken similar initiatives. While connecting people through the app, it spread positivity throughout the direst times. Numerous popular social influencers created posts to inspire their followers to stay safe during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to do so even now. These vastly helped us with our overall isolation and connected us with the people we adore or follow while keeping us a bit safer.

Digital revolution has taken over Bangladesh, a country soon to turn 50 years old. As social media helped us stick to each other regardless of distance during the pandemic crisis, if used smartly and responsibly it will help us in numerous new ways as we move forward.

The writer is Head of Global PR and Communications, Likee

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