Manila, 16 April 2020 – Due to the enhanced community quarantine, many people are glued to their devices to stay connected. Twitter keeps Filipinos updated with #WhatsHappening, especially about COVID-19.
In fact, Tweets related to the pandemic spiked up to 283% in March on January and February combined, making Twitter the preferred platform for real-time information.
Staying in their own homes did not stop the Filipino spirit from being united. On Twitter, people from all walks of life are doing their share to help communities and raise awareness to issues that matter the most. But aside from volunteerism and bayanihan, there are other ways Filipinos use the platform to relive a sense of normalcy and hope even during these challenging times.
Here are simple yet purposeful activities that Filipinos can find and do on Twitter:
1. Creating art to reduce stress
Art is a way of expression, and it is through art that we can also find enjoyment and a piece of serenity. Filipino artists have been using the hashtag #ArtPH to showcase their works and encourage fellow artists to keep on creating as well.
In the midst of the current situation, people turn to art as one of the ways to destress and interestingly, a creative means to extend help. Filipino artists opened up commissions wherein the proceeds will be given to donation drives for frontliners and more. Check the hashtag #ArtForMedPH to view amazing artworks done by local artists, share or challenge friends to showcase their creative pieces along with the hashtag #ArtPH.
2. Get practical and expert advice
Aside from staying at home and practicing measures such as having #SafeHands, people need to be healthy inside out. Though it is practically impossible to visit a doctor for consultations, it’s a fortunate time that people can still find doable and proper advice from experts who are active on the platform.
The Department of Health (@DOHgovph) gives practical tips on how to stay healthy as well as the latest news regarding COVID-19. They produce short animated videos and infographics that capture the user’s attention and make the tips and guidelines easier to follow.
— Department of Health (@DOHgovph) April 10, 2020
20 seconds of proper handwashing can save lives.
Kaya laging maghugas ng kamay!
— Department of Health (@DOHgovph) March 26, 2020
UNICEF Philippines (@unicefphils) reminds everyone to practice proper hand washing and maintaining good hygiene especially for children. They also have plenty of informative and practical advice for expecting mothers and parents on how they can proactively spot and address their child’s concerns especially on coping up during these unprecedented times.
— UNICEF Philippines (@unicefphils) April 1, 2020
Sa panahon ng kalamidad tulad ng #COVID19, pinakamabisang proteksiyon pa rin ni baby ang gatas ni nanay.
— UNICEF Philippines (@unicefphils) April 8, 2020
Filipinos can also look forward to HealthXPh’s (@HealthXPh) Twitter chats which usually happens every Saturday. Dr. Gia Sison (@giasison) and her peers in the healthcare industry moderates this regular session to spark conversations on various topics such as health and well-being. A specific topic is covered every session and participants are encouraged to reply their thoughts and spread the word using the hashtag #HealthXPh.
— HealthXPh (@HealthXPh) March 7, 2020
Anxiety, fear of the unknown. Even health professionals are afraid, even if we know the mode of transmission. mainly because it is a new pathogen. The amount of information, many fake or inaccurate, misinterpretation of studies, etc. are amplified by social media. #HealthXPh
— Ian CG (@iancgMD) March 14, 2020
Get updates on new Tweets from the accounts you follow by managing your notification preferences. Here are the steps on how to enable notifications for a specific account you Follow:
1. From the account profile, tap the notification icon
2. Check the box next to Account notifications.
3. From the pop-up message, choose between two notification types: All Tweets or Only live video.
4. Tap your selection.
3. Learn something new
Quarantine can be an opportunity for us to discover a new hobby, continue an unfinished project, or even dive on widening one’s knowledge to have a better grasp of the current situation. In fact, learning can be as fun and educational online, too.
For those who are interested in history, economics, or political theory; Lakan (@immanuellakant) uses Twitter to discuss complex concepts such as public issues, labor, and other topics that people may find relevant today. Lakan keeps his “online lessons” snackable through short videos and threads to make it more interactive yet comprehensive and easier to digest for his online audiences.
Trying to compress everything in 140 seconds is hard but here’s today’s vlog! The difference between labor and labor power. pic.twitter.com/UsqOhwaLg0
— Lakan (@immanuellakant) March 25, 2020
Users can also conveniently follow other topics they are interested in using the Topic Follow prompt. This list of suggested topics appears on the timeline and changes based on what the user follows and mostly searches for on Twitter. To use this feature, tap Topics in your profile icon menu and tap the Follow button next on the Topics you’d like to follow. As Twitter may also suggest topics as you scroll through your timeline, users can simply tap the Follow button next to the suggested Topic.
4. Keeping a safe space online
Aside from physical health, it is also important to keep a healthy mind. With lots of information at one’s disposal, it is easy to get caught up and feel anxious with what’s happening around the world. Filipinos can find tips on how to fight cabin fever through Mental Health’s (@mentalhealthph) #RecoverTogether daily reminder. They have daily Tweets on how to promote and protect mental health through simple ways.
Day 21 | Make use of this free time at home to feed your brain. Watch Ted videos or documentaries about one thing that you are curious about.
— MentalHealthPH (@mentalhealthph) April 9, 2020
Filipinos can rely on finding real-time credible and official information about COVID-19 from reliable sources on Twitter’s COVID-19 Events page. This feature brings credible information from official authorities and accounts at the top of one’s search tab, while the proactive #COVID19 search prompt will direct users to the Department of Health’s (@DOHgovph) dedicated website on COVID-19 and WHO Philippines’ (@WHOPhilippines) official Twitter page. To use the COVID-19 Events page feature, go to the Explore tab if using a desktop or see the top of the home timeline for mobile users. To see all of the latest steps Twitter is taking in response to Covid-19, visit covid19.twitter.com.
Even at the height of social distancing, people can still connect together by going online. Filipinos can use Twitter to catch up with friends, find advice, share progress on an art project, and get real-time updates on current issues, and more. Stay safe, everyone!