Stop social-media shaming people who don’t quarantine

With all the fear caused by COVID, many are upset by those ignoring the quarantine process. But there are right and wrong ways of spreading awareness.

“Stop going outside and listen to the darn government!” Stay in your homes!”  “Some people disgust me!” 

These are actual posts I’ve seen on peoples’ social media platforms recently.  

No joke.

The reprimands were, obviously, in reference to the necessity for people to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID.  The angry posts were “call-outs” to pressure people who are “still going about their lives.”

But it’s too much. And it’s wrong.  I find this a very inappropriate way of spreading awareness to people.

Is the social-media shaming of people going out okay?

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While yes, we all should be staying at home to reduce the spreading of the Coronavirus, it’s not necessary to vent angrily, and publicly, online. 

I’ve not only seen posts like these but I’ve also seen people send threatening, harassment-like posts or replies telling others how “gross” and “selfish” they are for leaving their homes. All on the public forums of Facebook and Instagram!

In terms of trying to spread awareness, the comments may mean well, but they aren’t appropriate ways to communicate. If anything, they could make some people want to go outside out of spite (or to prove their own viewpoint– that quarantine is a governmental over-step in the fight against COVID). Plenty of people believe that, and no one really knows what the perfect solution is to all of this.  Let’s be real..  

During this time of quarantine, it’s most important that communities support each other and spread positivity. We all want to go back to our normal lives, but there are better ways of educating people about how staying home can speed up this process than angry, high-and-mighty rants on Facebook and Twitter. 

Instead of posting how much hate you have for people who are going outside, an alternative reaction could be to talk about the (potential) harm people may do by being out like nothing is happening. (Namely, that with just one small interaction a person can contract the virus and take it home to their family without even knowing since symptoms take a few days to show.) 

Right now, the world is in an extreme time of need for caution, safety, and togetherness. Many people who are being told to stay in their homes may struggle socially, physically, or financially when they can’t work. People need positivity. 

On Instagram, at the beginning of the quarantine, there was a trend where girls would tag ten of their friends in a photo posted to their stories, titled something along the lines of “Spread positivity.” That’s where we all started in this whole thing— positive, together.  

However, as time has gone on, I’ve seen some of those same girls posting nasty things about those who are still leaving their homes. And while, yes it’s frustrating that some are not complying, it’s important to be patient, show compassion, accept other viewpoints, and give the benefit of the doubt rather than anger.

There’s no doubt that those who are roaming the streets have some understanding that what they’re doing is frowned upon. So posting awareness about COVID-19 and the dangers of being noncompliant and how it affects others (e.g., pushes the quarantine back even longer, more and more people out of work, not just harming yourself but others), could be enough to encourage people to go back home.