Balance in social media use key in S.O.E.

The declaration of a state of emergency and a subsequent coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown in Samoa has meant more time for people to get on social media.

Nu'u Fou resident, Al Chu-Ling, told Samoa Observer that social media has become a source of entertainment as people have more free time to surf the internet.

He said access to social media has also enabled him to find out more information about issues connected to the S.O.E., such as the Government’s quarantine policy.

"Social media has been a great source of entertainment right now during the quarantine, knowing we have nothing to do at the moment, and knowing that there is entertainment from overseas and also locally on social media so it's been a really good source of entertainment," he said.

There is also more time to package content for his TikTok account, he added.

"I have posted more videos on TikTok since the beginning of the lockdown so it's really great for me. I have a lot of free time now so it's been an advantage for me and my Tik Tok content.”

Thanks to social media, there is also readily available information on COVID-19 which enables him to be in the loop on new developments.

However, the prolonged use of such technology has its downsides, according to Mr Chu-Ling as it could translate to loss of productivity, and it would be good to strike a balance.

"The only cons is that people tend to lose productivity and they start to get lazy knowing they have nothing to do. It's good to be on social media, but you have to know how to balance being productive and also being on social media,” he said. 

“Try not to spend more than five or six hours on social media everyday. There are times where you need to take a break and go eat and train rather than just sitting all day and doing nothing. Learn how to balance it.”

Faith Ualesi of Vaitele-Fou expressed similar sentiments, but he has noticed slow connectivity in recent days, which he is blaming on increasing internet usage in the country. 

"There have been a lot of people using the internet now, especially a lot of people are working from home so the internet would usually go slow, because of too many users at once," he said.

Mr Ualesi said internet accessibility has made it convenient for National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) students to access online lectures through Moodle.

“For example, the National University of Samoa is using Moodle now for online classes. This will help students to study and get updates on the assignments they are currently doing so once school re-opens, the students' minds will still be fresh with knowledge because they used Moodle for studies," he said.

When asked how people can balance their time between accessing social media and attending to home chores, Mr Ualesi said it ultimately depended on the person and how they used their time.

"Use the time wisely. People should balance their time so that not a lot of time is spent on social media. Many kids are at home during this lockdown so it would be great for them to balance the time studying and going on social media," he added.

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