8 Awesome Acts of Kindness That Gave Us Hope Amid COVID-19
The past two weeks have felt like a whole different time to most of us, as international governments take steps to contain the spread of Covid-19 - a viral respiratory infection that has taken thousands of lives and put many more into self-quarantine.
This new reality of isolation has greatly influenced how people around the world are tackling the current health epidemic. Be it working from home, binge watching shows on streaming services like Netflix most of us are spending more time online as cabin fever sets in. People are trying to connect with each other without connecting, and who can blame them? This is the season of #QuarantineAndChill.
Social media usage has skyrocketed across the globe on various platforms, with reports of increased traffic and post increases on major networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Connecting online enables families and friends to share crucial information, vital health updates. And most importantly, live streams of penguins exploring their aquarium for our amusement.
To help keep your spirits up, we went scouting for some incredible acts of kindness by brands and influencers that have gone, well, viral on social media.
1. Redditors Share Crucial Information On Coronavirus 🦠
Everyone’s favorite niche forum website now has a dedicated subreddit created by caring individuals, and even some prominent health experts, who have devoted their free time and energy to supporting one another with tips, stories and discussions.
In only a short time this group has become the third-most active subreddit, with some of the fastest member growth on the site.
Given the right circumstances, the digital collective can be more than the mindless mob it’s sometimes perceived to be, but a force for good, when we all need to come together without actually coming together.
2. Free Games on Steam, GOG, & More 🎮
Already a $152 billion dollar industry globally before the lockdown came into effect, video games have surged in popularity through digital downloads and physical sales, with record-breaking numbers beating out movies, sports and other forms of personal entertainment in 2019 alone. Just last week, Steam hit an all-time high in concurrent users, at a whopping 22.6 million people, as a result of the surge in people staying indoors.
Now that it’s “work from home”, it’s also “play from home”, and gaming publishers and platforms have stepped up.
Reacting quickly to the news, Steam donated to its loyal members, a bevy of free games to download and play at the beginning of the shutdown. While not offered currently, other gaming companies have freely shared with online members and non-members alike, all to help alleviate boredom in the form of promotional giveaways.
Through charitable offerings like these, game publishers were able to engage customers with delectable products and offers. This goes a long way in building a positive reputation for your brand, as well as driving traffic to your website. Free and trial-based giveaways also have the added bonus of hooking in more consumers with word-of-mouth publicity.
3. The Sweet Free Music of Instagram 🎧
Unlike gaming, however, the music industry has been seeing a bit of a sales depression, especially on streaming platforms like Spotify and Pandora, where sales dipped 7% from the last quarter, and digital song sales dropping almost 10% during that same period.
With live concerts put on hold and people preferring to spend their current funds on more essential supplies, things were seemingly bleak for the biggest names in music. Thankfully, millions of people can scratch their musical itch, and the help is coming from an unlikely source: Instagram Live.
Through Instagram Live, international artistes like John Mayer, Miley Cyrus, and Diplo are entertaining music-starved fans, as well as potential new audiences with lowered production costs. Even from their living rooms, these songs are highly coveted in a time of uncertainty.
By now, Instagram Live has played host to multiple streaming concerts from various big name musicians, DJs, and bands, including these anticipated line-ups:
- March 28th - Erin Rae
- March 30th - Shannon Lay
- April 3rd - Rick Maguire From Pile
- And More!
4. Influencers Activate Their Followers to #SupportLocal 📣
Instagram is not the only social network that has had a surge in users. Twitter has similarly recorded a 23% jump in usage this year, a trend that can be traced back to internauts having more time on their hands, and more topics to tweet about. Compared to Facebook and Instagram, Twitter is highly depended upon for immediate, up-to-the-minute information regarding life-changing public policies and breaking news.
A single tweet from an influencer can hold immense importance due to the devoted following it maintains. And for high-profile individuals who use social media as a megaphone for their announcements; when utilized without forethought or consideration, its use can often lead to repercussions.
So when genuine acts of goodness are posted on networks like Twitter, it highlights the potentially positive side of this channel, and how it can be utilized to bring comfort and hope to us all.
A Twitter post by The Try Guys, a comedy troupe on YouTube, urged followers to support local businesses in return for a Try Guys gift card. The tweet earned over 3,000 likes and 543 retweets.
Help us support local businesses impacted by the covid-19 crisis. If you have the means, buy a gift card to a small business in your area and we’ll send you a $5 try guys gift card on us!— The Try Guys (@tryguys) March 20, 2020
Send us proof of purchase to:
firstname.lastname@example.org #SupportLocal pic.twitter.com/1z1n09LAkw
By activating their followers in this way, The Try Guys turned the spotlight on an oft overlooked issue that is developing across the world – that being the plight of small businesses.
5. Facing Free Housing on Facebook 🏡
Whether empowering democracy-loving protesters during the Arab Spring or helping to organize relief efforts in places like Nepal, Puerto Rico, and China, Facebook has supported so many people in making the world a better place.
A recent example of this positive usage stems from a report in the NYTimes last week, revealing how there are over 13,500 US citizens who were reported unable to return to the states due to their trips overlapping with US international travel bans.
In response to the border closure between Singapore and Malaysia on March 18th, which stranded thousands of Malaysian workers, a local individual in Singapore displayed a truly generous response. Using Facebook, he publicized his offer of an unoccupied flat to any wayward travelers in need of shelter.
In short, the selfless nature of this offer is a prime example of how Facebook can be an excellent platform for connecting with people to share love and support.
It’s a simple lesson that we all can take a page from: overlook our differences, see people for their best and for their flaws, and act accordingly.
6. TikTok: Hygiene Tutorials in 15 Seconds or Less 🧼
Life in a time of pandemic and cleanliness paranoia has inspired many people to get creative with their acts of goodwill and information sharing.
A recent entry to the world of social media, TikTok has been noted for popularizing viral music and dance challenges. Now, this rising social network is empowering users young and old, to produce fun, digestible, and engaging content to inform others about almost anything and everything, including:
- Event info
- Personal stories
- Relevant news
- And even basic hygiene!
Some prime cases include an uplifting “I Will Survive” cover by Gloria Gaynor, a hamster PSA and the widely viral hand-washing dance video, “Ghen Co Vy Challenge” by Vietnamese artist Quang Dang.
With attention spans growing shorter, and content becoming more and more plentiful online, it’s even more important to cut through the clutter with creative angles that engage. With its 15 - 60 second video format, TikTok appeals to audiences with a love for catchy beats, young talent, and broad appeal.
7. Linkedin Dedicates Itself to COVID-19 Updates 📰
Though primarily used for work, Linkedin is also a news network hub and a messaging platform. These two free services complement each other perfectly as the global populace clamors for the latest in how to stay safe and ways to prevent the spreading of Coronavirus.
So how do you stay connected with your professional network, while keeping up to date with COVID-19 related developments that can potentially affect your industry?
Enter Linkedin’s newly introduced Trending News section:
Instead of charging established Linkedin members a fee, like they do for their Premium membership, they’ve stepped up and provided the public with both educational resources and up-to-the-minute information.
All services take time, resources and planning to bring to fruition, which means Linkedin has accepted real losses in order to step up and provide public information. By taking the humanitarian approach, they’ve proven that smart business practices can both boost their relationship with users and inform millions of people through social media.
Providing online resources for free, and thus incentivizing users to stay home to take advantage of them, could be crucial for helping to flatten the curve and keep the number of new cases from rising.
8. Find Joy in Animal Live Streams and Videos 🐶🐹🐱
Though our lives in the time of COVID-19 have changed, one thing that has not, and never will, is our collective love of cute, funny, or cute and funny animals. Entertaining us endlessly through videos on YouTube and Facebook, or websites like Explore.org, where website traffic increased by 85%.
As a sort of public service to everyone trapped in their homes, zoos, aquariums, and pet breeders from around the world, have provided the rest of us with the ultimate act of kindness: live streams of their most adorable otters, penguins and puppies! Just when we needed something to lift our spirits and help us feel connected to the wild, the animal kingdom stepped up and delivered.
We’ve compiled some of our favorite videos for you to enjoy below while we all remain in self-imposed quarantine.
As the world learns how to survive amid a pandemic, it is important to continue to thrive in the best way we can. From simple, but effective gestures such as fighting the urge to go out and be in close contact with others, to taking part in larger efforts such as volunteering, social media has become an invaluable platform for spreading goodwill. .
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Written by Micah Levin
With a background in creative writing, advertising, and psychology, Micah is a copywriter in name and a Digiminder at heart. When he's not developing content for agencies, you can find him crafting novels, cooking and running around in Brooklyn, NY.