Online ISSN: 2519-9722 | Print ISSN: 2522-6789
Volume 5 Number 10 October 2020
‘WHAT DOES IT SAY?’ EXAMINING THE EFFECT OF KEYWORDS IN SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS DURING COVID-19Pages: 152-163
Authors: Dr. Nada Algharabali
It is now clear that the coronavirus crisis will change the world, let alone the social fabric of individual societies. One of the most tangible outcomes of this pandemic will surely be how people perceive the role of social media during times of fear, uncertainty and confusion. The present study mainly attempts to reveal how the language content of social media posts affects online users’ reactions and behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data was gathered from an online survey distributed to users from both Arab and non-Arab countries. Also, more personalized online interviews were conducted on a number of users to yield qualitative insights on the embedded meaning of the language of social media posts. The social media platform being focused on in the present research is WhatsApp, although Twitter is also utilized as another reference given its popularity. The results of this study demonstrate not only the irreplaceable function of social media during a crisis such as COVID-19, but also the need to encourage worldwide digital literacy on the language content of public social media posts.