Use of social media apps linked to feelings of isolation during COVID-19 - The Daily Guardian
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Use of social media apps linked to feelings of isolation during COVID-19

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Washington [US], January 30 (ANI): According to a recent study, the use of online messaging and social media apps among Singapore residents has spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study was led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore).
Three in four respondents (75 per cent) said that their use of WhatsApp during the pandemic increased. This was followed by Telegram (60.3 per cent), Facebook (60.2 per cent) and Instagram (59.7 per cent).
Accompanying this spike is videoconferencing fatigue, found the NTU Singapore study, which surveyed 1,606 Singapore residents from December 17 to 31 last year. Nearly one in two Singapore residents (44 per cent) said they felt drained from videoconferencing activities, which became more frequent during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Some 86 per cent of the respondents reported that their use of videoconferencing tools increased during the pandemic.
The increased use of online communication tools could in part be driven by feelings of isolation, said the researchers. When asked how often they felt they lacked companionship, 35 per cent of the respondents indicated they have felt this way sometimes, while 19 per cent felt this way often or very often. Some 32 per cent also reported feeling left out sometimes, while 18 per cent said they felt left out often or very often.
The nationwide online study looking at the new normal following the COVID-19 outbreak is commissioned by the Centre for Information Integrity and the Internet (IN-cube), a new research centre at NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) and conducted by a local polling company.
Associate Professor Edson C Tandoc Jr, the Director at IN-cube said, “The significant correlation between the use of online communication tools and isolation”>feelings of isolation from the survey results may help explain why most of our respondents reported an increase in their use of online communication tools in the past few months, as they turn to these tools to feel connected to others even when physical interactions have to be limited.
“Social interaction through these online communication tools definitely brings about new challenges. Some may feel as if they are always on call at work or among their friends. Others may be uncomfortable with turning their cameras on during a video call or may not have a stable internet connection. With these difficulties and limitations in mind, we need to be mindful of our expectations of others when we are using these tools or when we ask others to use them,” Tandoc Jr added.
The IN-cube survey also found that nearly two in three (63.1 per cent) Singapore residents think that the COVID-19 situation will improve this year, with six in 10 (60.6 per cent) looking forward to traveling out of Singapore.
One in four respondents also indicated plans to make high-value purchases after the pandemic, such as buying luxury bags, cars, or property. However, this optimism about the COVID-19 situation improving comes with a tinge of caution. Some 68.7 per cent said they would likely or very likely continue to avoid places with large public gatherings while 68.5 per cent said they would continue to engage in social distancing even after the pandemic is over.
Face masks may also remain commonplace, as 64 per cent said they would continue to wear face masks outdoors even after COVID-19, while 62 per cent said they are likely or very likely to continue to work from home whenever possible, even after the pandemic.
NTU Assistant Professor Edmund Lee, Assistant Director at IN-cube said, “The intention of Singaporeans to avoid large public gatherings – even though they believe that COVID-19 situation will improve – is a positive indication that people are still remaining vigilant as they adapt to the new normal.
“The challenge is how we can avoid becoming victims of our own success, ensuring that people do not get ‘COVID-19 fatigue’ and let their guard down as Singapore gradually opens up to the world,” Edmund Lee added. (ANI)

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Hugh Grant, Sophia Lillis team up with Chris Pine for ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ movie

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Washington [US], March 3 (ANI): Paramount and eOne’s untitled ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ feature project has found its villain in the form of Hugh Grant.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 60-year-old star has been cast in the role of the main antagonist in the big-budget feature adaptation of the popular fantasy role-playing game from Wizards on the Coast.
Sophia Lillis, best known for her work in the ‘It’ horror movies, has also joined the bold-faced name of the production that also includes Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith and Rege-Jean Page.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, the game is known for its war games, treasure hunts, camaraderie and reversals of fortune, all in a fantasy setting that combines humans, elves, orcs and hundreds of other creatures.
Famously, the game uses multi-sided dice in gameplay and is overseen by a host known as the Dungeon Master. It is not known whether the story is a straight-up fantasy or incorporates the storytelling and game-playing aspects.
Currently, the plot details of the film are being kept under the wraps, however, it is known that Grant will play an antagonist named Forge Fletcher while Lillis’ character is named Doric.
The duo behind New Line’s sleeper hit ‘Game Night’- Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley – is set to direct with Paramount and eOne jointly producing and financing. eOne will distribute in the UK and Canada while Paramount distributes in the rest of the world.
Jeremy Latcham is producing via his deal with eOne, Hasbro’s entertainment arm. Hasbro’s Brian Goldner is also producing.
Grant last starred in HBO’s drama ‘The Undoing’ for which he was highly praised, earning Golden Globe, SAG, and Critics Choice Award nominations. Currently, the actor is shooting an action thriller ‘Five Eyes’, that once again reunites him with Guy Ritchie, who directed him in ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ and last year’s crime caper, ‘The Gentlemen’. (ANI)

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COVID-19 effect: 2021 CMA Fest cancelled

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Washington [US], March 3 (ANI): Country music festival CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee, will be cancelled for the second year in a row because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Fox News, the Country Music Association announced on Tuesday (local time) the decision to cancel the June event. The mega event is one of the oldest country music festivals after starting in 1972 as Fan Fair. It was also cancelled last year.
“While we are optimistic with the pace at which COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available, we still face several challenges that prevent us from bringing our many artists, crew members and fans together safely for the full CMA Fest experience we know everyone has come to expect,” CMA CEO Sarah Trahern said in a statement.
As per Fox News, Trahern explained that the festival takes place at several Nashville venues and could not be rescheduled for later in the year. The venues would also have capacity restrictions that would limit attendance. Further, the festival draws many out-of-state and international visitors that would be impacted by travel restrictions.
The ones who purchased passes for last year and held onto them to use for this year’s festival can either retain them for 2022 or opt for a refund at CMAFest.com. (ANI)

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Kylie Jenner flaunts perfect winged eyeliner in latest Instagram post

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Washington [US], March 3 (ANI): American reality TV star Kylie Jenner on Wednesday treated fans to a stunning boomerang as she flaunted her perfect winged eyeliner.
The ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ star hopped on to Instagram and shared a boomerang in which she focused on her eyes.

In the video, the 23-year-old star is seen perfect makeup look in which she flaunted her unique eyeliner and her luscious locks open, the beauty mogul seemed gorgeous as ever.
Leaving a couple of black heart emoticons in the caption, the Kylie Cosmetics founder channelled her love for makeup and eyeliner.
With the post hitting the photo-sharing platform it garnered more than 2.2 million likes with many drawing comparisons of Jenner’s look to that of an Arabian girl.
“Kylies arab today (and a weary face emoticon),” one fan wrote in the comments section.
“giving me very much miss arab commercial vibe,” another chimed in.
“Looking arab with the makeup ngl,” wrote one fan of the reality TV star.
Quite an active user of social media, the beauty mogul keeps on updating fans on her activities by posting pictures and videos.
Earlier, Jenner shared an adorable candid picture of daughter Stormi Webster as she posed in front of a luxurious car and captioned it as, “chill days w mommy.” (ANI)

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Study suggests using a warmer tone in college syllabi makes students more likely to ask for help

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Oregon [US], March 3 (ANI): College course syllabi written in a warm, friendly tone are more likely to encourage students to reach out when they are struggling or need help, a new study from Oregon State University found.
Conversely, when a syllabus is written in a more cold, detached tone, students are less likely to reach out.
The study also compared the effect of syllabus tone with the effect of a deliberate “Reach out for help” statement included in the document. It was published recently in the journal Teaching of Psychology,
“The instructor has to ask themselves, what’s the first point of contact with the class for the student? In an online class and in remote learning, the syllabus is often the first thing. An impression of the course and you the instructor is formed on the syllabus,” said Regan A.R. Gurung, lead author of the study and director of the general psychology program in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts.
“In the old days, before Canvas and other online teaching tools, the student wouldn’t see the syllabus until I handed it out. That gave me a lot of time to create that impression,” he said. Now, however, students often read syllabi to determine if they want to take a course or not.
During the pandemic, when the majority of courses have moved online and students may be struggling with more stress and pressure than they would in a normal school year, conveying that it’s OK to ask for help is even more important, Gurung said.
The study recruited 257 student volunteers from introductory psychology courses at OSU. They were tasked with reading one of four sample syllabi: warm-toned with or without a “reach out” statement, or cold-toned with or without the “reach out” statement.
The warm-toned syllabi included phrases like “I welcome you to contact me outside of class and student hours,” and used more “We will” framing instead of the cold-toned version’s “You will.”
Student participants rated the hypothetical instructor based on the syllabus and answered some basic questions to verify they had read the document. They then ranked how likely they would be to reach out to the professor in each of five situations: help on an assignment, when feeling low, personal issues with friends or family, medical issues and to ask about campus resources.
“Reach out” statements have become more popular in recent years as a way to destigmatize mental health needs and point students toward available mental health and academic resources. But the study found that syllabus tone, more than these statements, made students more likely to seek help.
Results showed an increase in likelihood to reach out on three of the five situations among students who read the warm-tone syllabi, while students who read the syllabi with a “reach out” statement were more likely to ask for help in only one of the five situations. Warm versus cold tone had no impact on how students perceived the instructor’s overall competence.
Gurung cautioned that the study is limited by being performed in lab conditions rather than in a real classroom. Researchers capped the syllabi used for the study at two pages each, when real course syllabi may be 15 pages or more. And the syllabus was the sole component for students to judge.
“But that’s exactly why I think a study like this is powerful — that even without that human component, even something as black-and-white as a syllabus can make a difference,” Gurung said. “If you’re a great approachable person, good for you; you’ll just be able to magnify these effects.”
With this study, researchers are not suggesting that professors ditch all discipline or craft an overly touchy-feely syllabus.
It’s the difference between rapport and rules, Gurung said.
“You can absolutely have rules, and you should be firm and you should be fair and you should be clear, but that is sort of separate from your interaction with the student as a person. You don’t have to be extroverted or cracking jokes, but you can still show that you listen,” he said. (ANI)

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PAYAL GHOSH OPENS UP ON THE CONTROVERSIAL SONG ‘LOVE JIHAD’

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Payal Ghosh-starrer ‘Love Jihaad’ is out now and has caused a huge uproar. The song which is seen by a section as something against intercaste marriage is actually not true. The video is about a Muslim man fraudulently marrying a Hindu girl and trying to convert her to his religion. This is a truth of society how much ever we try to hide that.  Payal Ghosh spoke to The Daily Guardian about her new song Love Jihad and her views on it.

The song is being critiqued as well as accepted due to its brave portrayal of the situation. Payal has taken a bold step and she is not the one to shy away from the challenge.

Payal said, “It’s a song where a Muslim boy pretends to be Hindu and marries a Hindu girl and then tries to convert her to his religion. It’s not about unacceptance or something that some sections are making it out to be. It is a ground reality and we can’t shy away from it. The cases are in thousands if not lakhs. It’s a bold attempt and we all have to stand by it to make it a success so the right message goes out. ‘Love Jihaad’ is being misunderstood and I request the media to come into play and give out the true essence of the music video.”

She also gave a message for her fans, “I want them to watch my music video ‘Love Jihad’ and every girl should be careful to understand the intention of her partner and choose a life partner after knowing every detail about him.”

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RADHIKA RAO AND VINAY SAPRU ON DIRECTING EMRAAN HASHMI FOR ‘LUT GAYE’ SONG

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After reigning 2020 with chartbusters, Vinay Sapru and Radhika Rao are all set with big releases in 2021. They have recently given three superhit songs that garnered millions of views including ‘Besharam Bewaffa’, ‘Teri Aakhon Mai’, and ‘Yaad Piya ki Aane Lagi’.

Now they have teamed up with Emraan Hashmi for the romantic song ‘Lut Gaye’. The director duo Radhika-Vinay spoke with The Daily Guardian and said, “It’s always a pleasure working with Bhushan and we have a great track record of blockbuster hits with T-Series so hope this song also becomes one. Audiences love watching Emraan in quintessential romantic roles and we kept that in mind when we conceptualised the track.”

 The musical duo has had an amazing and one of its kind journey with several chartbusters under their illustrious career that has spanned over two decades.

  They directorial venture ‘Vaaste’ has become the only Hindi music video to have more than one billion views, in addition to being the most liked video in India, and in the top 10 most liked videos of the world.

  The year 2021 will catapult them into another league as they broaden their horizons by being a part of a musical film with Bhushan Kumar and T-Series which is scheduled to go on floors in May 2021 and will be shot in London. Meanwhile, they are directing a song for a feature film starring Rakul Preet and Arjun Kapoor. Besides this, they will start the work on the sequel of their blockbuster franchise, ‘Yaad Piya Ki Aane Lagi 2’ with Divya Khosla Kumar.

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