The Use of Internet and Social Networks During covid-19 in Greece


Human civilization has been transformed dramatically due to the increase of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The new digital era, and more particularly the digitization of information has contributed to many changes in all areas of life. More specifically the social relations among people developed new social and cultural structures. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic forced humanity to adopt digital technologies in most aspects of economic and social life. Internet, telework, remote work, and distance learning are now part of everyday life in society, and users of online social networks have increased dramatically in comparison with those of recent decades around the world. On the other hand, the situation that human experience due to the pandemic produced by COVID-19 disease may have increased the negative effects of excessive use of social networks. This study aims to explore the attitudes of Greek citizens toward the use of the Internet and social media before and during the pandemic. A primary survey on random 525 Greek citizens was conducted from September–November 2021. Principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted to identify the main attitudes of Greek citizens toward the use of social media during COVID-19 era. Therefore, two main attitudes were derived from PCA: (a) use of social media to be informed, and (b) use of social media for entertainment. Cluster analysis was performed to classify those citizens into groups according to their attitudes toward the use of social networks during COVID-19 period. It identified three groups of citizens: (a) those who are indifferent to the use of social networks (b) those who use social networks mainly to be informed, and (c) those who use social networks only for entertainment. Following that, a Friedman nonparametric test was performed to determine the primary reasons why Greek citizens use the Internet and social networks prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonparametric tests, including the Chi-square and Friedman nonparametric tests were performed to develop the profile of each of the identified groups of citizens toward the main reasons they use the Internet and social networks, for what purposes, and their demographic characteristics.

Keywords: social networks, Internet, COVID-19

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