COVID-19 made Google, Twitter users more supportive and empathetic; Study

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles and Harvard University has revealed that people on social media platforms like Twitter and on Google Search become more empathetic and supportive of reach others since COVID-19.

As part of the study, researchers analyzed how internet activity changed in the US for 10 weeks before and 10 weeks after March 13, 2020, using search giant Google and microblogging site Twitter, blogs and internet forums for the use of more than a half-billion words and phrases.

Researchers found that the usage of words such as sacrifice, share and help more than doubled on Twitter and Google from before the pandemic to the period after March 13.

Patricia Greenfield, a distinguished UCLA psychology professor senior author of the research remarked that the result suggests a resurgence of community-oriented values among the online community with people thinking more about supporting one another.

Other Trends 

Researchers also saw substantial growth in the use of words referring to basic needs for food, clothing and shelter across Google searches, Twitter, internet forums and blogs.

Fear of Life 

The study that appeared in the journal Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies reveals that COVID-19 induced a dramatic increase in people’s fear of death and the concept of mortality.

Researchers revealed that search activity for the word “survive” increased by 47 percent, for “cemeteries” by 41 percent, for “bury” by 23 percent and for “death” by 21 percent higher number of death tolls were reported in the US after March 13.

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