Aldo Agostinelli

Covid, Covid and Covid again: obviously, the Coronavirus pandemics has taken us by surprise and definitely caught us unprepared. And it has become the only topic addressed by newspapers, magazines, the radio, the news and, of course, online. A recent survey conducted by Awario focusing on social media analyzed millions of posts and tweets and has consequently identified the phenomena generated by the pandemics. The study has depicted an interesting scenario featuring some surprising elements and some less obvious factors we were not prepared for (Coronavirus on social media: Analysis + live data).

The Virus spreads online

From March 10 to April 1the Coronavirus and the words related to it appeared 14 million times on social media and in general on the internet. Everyone, from the guy living next door to politicians and famous brands, me included, mentioned it in social conversations generating 2 trillion impressions, i.e. two billion billions.

In the average, every cybernaut has been exposed to online information concerning the virus about 460 times over the past three weeks.

The most common topics

What do we talk about when we discuss the coronavirus? Mainly news. Then, surprisingly, the brands response to the pandemics, and finally the impact that the virus is having on our lives. And again, the closing of all activities, event cancellations, public health, VIPs which turned out to have been infected, smart working, hygiene and so on.

Smart working

In January no-one expected that many of us would soon be working from home. And that is why such subject has become one of the most debated online. In about one month, Awario collected 733.200 occurrences of expressions such as remote work, home office and working from home, in addition to smart working, remote working etc.
Opinions are generally positive (80% Vs. 20%), and the most popular aspects in this new condition are the fact of having more time to spend with our loved ones and pets, food, which is not the one of the company canteen or the pub near the office but the one cooked at home, music you can keep in the background  while working and – surprise! – coffee. Yes, the opportunity of drinking self-made coffee.

On the contrary, the disadvantages are having to deal with work and the kids at the same time, the difficulty of focusing to be productive and not being able to meet and talk to colleagues face to face.

Who loves the quarantine?

Necessary but not appreciable, personal isolation has brought about several peculiar trends in over  1,7 million key words which have been analyzed.

For instance the most popular brand among people in quarantine is Netflix, people are mostly happy (76% against 23%) and both those who posted positive and negative comments concerning the fact of being locked in, refer to the same reasons mentioned concerning  smart working.

Then, thumbs up for staying at home, watching films, cooking and playing with video games; thumbs down to spending all the time with family members, not having the chance of meeting friends, not going to the restaurant or to the gym. In addition to this, in the most extreme cases, there are people fighting with their mental health. A serious issue which should be addressed pretty soon thinking about possible future crisis, in order not to worsen the condition of those who suffer from depression, panic attacks, anxiety and other psychological problems.

Bunker-like stocks

We all saw, both on TV and on the internet, supermarkets being assaulted during the first days of the pandemics and some peculiar scenes such as trolleys filled with toilet paper in Australia, Great Britain and the United States (Coronavirus, the toilet paper raid ).

Awario has rightfully defined such raids “panic sprees”. But what did people buy? In addition to toilet paper, various weird goods, it seems: live chickens, for instance, came 15th in the ranking of the analyzed purchases.

Hands sanitizers came first, followed by face masks ( for those who were lucky enough to find them ), meet, toilet paper, alcohol, soap, pasta, bread, eggs, milk, chocolate, rice, cheese and flour. This latter makes us understand that the study must have analyzed very few Italian items since, we all know it far too well, flour and yeast were the first goods which went sold out. Because, we are Italians: we may be locked in but at least we need to eat good food.

Can you identify with such categories? Tweet @agostinellialdo.

To find out more about the digital world, you may also read my latest book entitled: “People Are Media” 

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Aldo Agostinelli