COVID 19 Consumption Trends and Social Media

By: Balqisa

As the weeks of social distancing and isolation continue to pass by, I have noticed an interesting trend within my household.  As one of seven children, it was a rarity for all of us to be home at the same time. With all of our busy work and school schedules, we would typically see each other in passing. Most of our meals were apart from each other and usually on the go. As a result of this current social climate, I began to notice that whenever anyone of us left the house it would either be to take a walk around the neighborhood or to the grocery store. 

With our social boredom, we began to try to replicate and recreate recipes of our favorite foods.  We attempted to make everything from Chicken Pad Thai to Sushi to Butter Chicken and Garlic Naan. Although it probably would have been tasted better from a restaurant, bonding over our impromptu recipes from Youtube helped fill the social void as we were able to share it on social media with our friends and family. 

Through Social Media specifically TikTok, we would see others recreate simple and easy recipes. One that caught my eye was the Dalgona Coffee recipe. Originally found in Asia, Dalgona coffee was popularized as people all around the world were staying home due to shelter in place laws. What was amazing about this coffee recipe was how it used things that were already in our pantries.  A Vox article reported that the recipe was “easy and replicable (as most emerging internet trends are), which helped it proliferate on social media. But it appears that dalgona coffee is only the beginning: As more people find themselves at home, they’re collectively gravitating toward certain activities and consumable content in their isolated reality, in hopes of feeling a little less alone”.

@imhannahcho

yes i hand whisked this whipped coffee for like 20 mins bc my mommy wanted to try it 👻 she loved it!! (달고나 커피) #korean #fyp #aesthetic

♬ Put your head on my shoulder cover by karlo – karlogutierrez

Changes in our consumption reflect how connected we are to each other on a global scale. Although social isolation feels as though we are alone, it makes it easier to know that everyone across the globe feels the same as you do. These social media trends help us by creating activities that occupy and distract us. It not only makes people feel useful but it aids in feeling less alone and more connected. 

In the past few weeks, I have noticed that in my household we have been discarding a lot of food waste as a result of us cooking more and eating out less. There is a reduced amount of plastic material being consumed as we are using plates and cups that are reusable. Also, there is an increase in the consumption of paper towels, gloves, face masks,  hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes and cleaning supplies such as bleach. Due to our current climate, we want to feel even safer and protected than before. I find myself overly disinfecting surfaces like countertops, computers and my phone to give myself peace of mind. In addition, as a family, we have begun to consume juices and teas that aid in boosting the immune system. If a future archeologist could look at our trash, they would be able to interpret our waste as people living through a pandemic that are attempting to keep themselves healthy. Things such as latex gloves and face masks can highlight how widespread this current situation is.

Sources:

Hannah Cho on TikTok. Retrieved from https://www.tiktok.com/@imhannahcho/video/6804149721406393605

Nguyen, T. (2020, April 7). The micro-trends of quarantine, from dalgona coffee to PowerPoint parties. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2020/4/7/21207127/things-to-do-during-quarantine-dalgona-coffee-bread-baking-trends