COVID-19 Sensitization and the Media in the World of Information Overload


Felix Olajide Talabi, Ayomide John Fajoye
Omowale Taofeek Adelabu, Bernice Oluwalanu Sanusi
Joshua Kayode Okunade, Ayodeji Boluwatife Aiyesimoju
Samson Adedapo Bello, Wilfred Oritsesan Olley
Prosper Nunayon Zannu

The end of November 2019 saw the initial discovery of COVID-19 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The rapidly changing facts on COVID19 are delivered through minute-by-minute updates, daily government briefings, and expert commentary. The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted individuals' mental health worldwide. This study investigated the relationship between COVID-19 sensitization and stress, anxiety, and depression, extensively using social media as a potential mediator and information overload as a moderator. Additionally, the study examined the application of technological determinism theory to understanding these associations. The research involved 146 undergraduate students at Redeemer's University, Nigeria, who completed a self-administered questionnaire. A quantitative research design with a cross-sectional approach was employed, and SmartPLS was used for data analysis. The results revealed a significant positive association between COVID19 sensitization and stress, anxiety, and depression. Social media use acted as a partial mediator, suggesting that individuals experiencing higher stress, anxiety, and depression levels were more likely to engage extensively with social media platforms, potentially reinforcing their COVID-19 sensitization. Furthermore, information overload significantly moderated the relationship between social media use and COVID-19 sensitization. Individuals with higher information overload experienced heightened COVID-19 sensitization when using social media extensively. Additionally, people are exposed to more information the more often they use media, which increases the possibility that they will experience information overload. .


Keywords:Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Information Overload, Extensive Use of Social Media, COVID-19 Sensitization, Technological Determinism, Theory

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