There are a million things to say about how 2020 has panned out thus far, and at the same time, none at all. As communications professionals, many of us are probably feeling the burnout of how challenging this year has been, so I’m sharing some of the positive aspects of social media (and a podcast recommendation) that have helped with everything from navigating a local protest, to finding inspiration for new, impactful social media content for my clients.

Snapchat heat map 

I was once a heavy Snapchat user and loved it as a platform for years, but as Instagram evolved and adopted so many similar features that existed with Snapchat, I ended up straying away and eventually deleting the app from my phone for the past two years. However, I have since re-downloaded it and found it to be an incredible resource for finding out where protests are taking place, as well as a real-time, geo-targeted news source. This is thanks to Snapchat’s heat map feature (also available via desktop), which allows you to view content activity on the map based on the volume of posts shared from public accounts. 

The Daily Podcast 

I’ve shared my love for The Daily before, but it bears repeating. We all know it’s important to stay informed, but for some, the news cycle can be overwhelming and lead to burnout. The Daily excels at presenting news in digestible and easy-to-understand episodes, most of which are under 40 minutes. They do a great job keeping their episodes focused on a specific issue or topic that collectively, creates steppingstones to explain a larger story at hand. 

TikTok 

Admittedly, I have been one of TikTok’s biggest critics and up until recently, vehemently resisted spending any time scrolling through an app that felt like a rebranded Instagram to me, but somehow, being in quarantine led me to change my tune. I initially imagined everything on TikTok to be videos of teenagers doing choreographed dances in their living rooms, but I see now that it’s so much more, and finally what the hype is about. From a never-ending supply of dog videos that made me smile on tough days, to life hacks that helped making work from home easier, and recipes that I never would have thought to try if I scrolled past it on Pinterest, TikTok definitely has a place in this world. And while it may not be a fit for every brand’s social media strategy, it’s personally opened up more creative thinking and inspiration for other social activations. I’ve listed some of my favorites below in case you need some convincing.

What other social media apps or content that has helped you cope with 2020?