Updated: Dec 14, 2020
The year 2020 will be cemented in the history books as one to remember. It is a series of rolling disasters, starting from Bushfires in Australia, and then totally striking the whole world with Coronavirus. Everyone who goes through this time will definitely have different pieces of the year that they hold onto forever.
It is just less than 2 weeks prior to 2021. Before celebrating the new year with the hope for a bright future, let’s sit down together and have a look at 2020 through the lenses of Social Media platforms. We choose to look at 2020 via Social Media because such platforms have become the “second life” of human beings. More than half of the world is using Social media. Facebook, Instagram, or similar platforms have become the place people share their thoughts/ opinions and update the latest news around them.
We go into January 2020 with the disaster of bushfires in Australia. Record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought had fueled massive bushfires across Australia. More than 12.6 million hectares of bush, forest, and parks have burned, at least 33 people have been killed, including four firefighters, and over 1 billion animals killed (Parliament of Australia, 2020). New South Wales and Victoria were the two worst-affected states. In January 2020, the term “State of Emergency” was declared in NSW and ACT because of these severe bushfires.
Another hazardous problem created by bushfires was air pollution. 11.3 million Australians were physically affected by the smoke from this disaster. Cities were covered by the thick blanket of smoke, and it even affected our neighborhood country- New Zealand.
“Bushfire”, “fire near me”, “air quality” has become the trending searches on Google in 2020. It can be said that 2020 hits Australia with a literally “hot” problem.
In January of 2021, the world continued to be hit by a “strange” disease, which was said to originate from Wuhan, China. The outbreaks started to spread to other countries. However, at that time, Wuhan specifically and China generally were the “hot spots” with thousands of new cases recorded every day. On 25 January 2020, Australia confirmed the first case of coronavirus- a man who flew from Wuhan to Victoria. Starting from February, travel restrictions amongst countries were slowly imposed, but no one can expect that it is just the beginning of the disaster. In March 2020, WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic (Think Global Health, 2020). What happens next is the rest of the history we all know.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, new terms have appeared to describe the lives of human beings amid the pandemic. Governments around the world started to impose “lockdown” or “quarantine” to stop the alarming spread of coronavirus and flat the curve. In Australia, specifically Victoria, quarantine must become a common term when citizens must stay at home for more than half of the year.
Needless to say, lockdown and travel restrictions had created a negative impact on world trade. After 2020, people care more about not only their physical health but mental health also gets enough attention. Never before had human beings desired for a social connection and valued the time of being together.
There’s one thing we can not deny that this crisis has totally changed the consumers’ behaviors, which will finally change the way we normally do business.
Work- from- home has become a norm for companies when the cities practice the lockdown regulations. This new experience has been positive for some and negative for others. For some people, the “always-on” status because the manager supposed that the employees can get access to work any time has invaded their privacy and destroyed work-life balance. On the other hand, many people are happy with working from home, as they can save traveling time and focus more on their work.
Nevertheless, from 2021, work from home has become a new way of working that companies are gradually adopting. Major firms including Google, Facebook, or Microsoft pass on the agreement of extending the remote working periods for their employees.
#blacklivesmatter - from a hashtag to movement
It begins with the hashtag #blacklivesmatter in July 2013 and turned into the movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people. The movement returned to the global headlines following the killing of George Floyd by the police officer in June 2020. An estimated 26 million people had joined the BLM protests, making it one of the largest movements in US history (The New York Times, 2020). The protests also happened in other countries around the world, including Australia.
The year 2020 may wrap up with the most searched event on Google- The presidential election in America. This topic has gained the attention of the whole world, as we both look forward to seeing the fate of the largest economy in the world under the new, or maybe old government. #USelection sits at first place in the overall search on Google in Australia 2020.