|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 61-69
Impact of social media on young bank employees during COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study
Saloni Prabhu1, Arif Maldar2, Pooja S Dhagavkar1, Ashwini Narasannavar1, Mubashir Angolkar1
1 Department of Public Health, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Kaher, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Kaher, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
|Date of Submission||12-Aug-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||14-Nov-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||22-Apr-2022|
Pooja S Dhagavkar
514 Prajakta, Shakti Marg, Shivbasav Nagar, Belgaum, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, social media (SM) use saw a sharp raise, especially for obtaining information regarding COVID-19 during the lockdown. SM platforms also led to misinformation about the disease which caused negative psychological effects on individuals. Bank employees (BE) are special workgroups who experience various levels of mental stress at their workplace due to workload. During lockdown and till date many of the BE work from home which enabled them to use SM accordingly. Objective: The study was conducted to assess the stress levels and anxiety levels due to usage of SM in young BE during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, an online Google form questionnaire was distributed to the participants using convenient and snowball sampling method. The final sample consisted of 126 Goan young BE. Statistical analysis was performed using descriptive analysis. Results: The results of the study revealed that SM use had significant impact on the BE, with a potential negative effect on developing stress and anxiety. 10.3% (13) of the participants experienced low stress and 89.7% (113) experienced moderate stress. 51.6% (65) of the participants had mild anxiety, 10.3% (13) had moderate anxiety, and 38.1% (48) had severe anxiety. Conclusion: The present study concludes that increased SM use among the BE was associated with negative psychological outcomes. Anxiety and stress were associated with the time spent on using SM sites.
Keywords: Anxiety, bank employees, COVID-19, social media, stress
|How to cite this article:|
Prabhu S, Maldar A, Dhagavkar PS, Narasannavar A, Angolkar M. Impact of social media on young bank employees during COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study. J Sci Soc 2022;49:61-9
|How to cite this URL:|
Prabhu S, Maldar A, Dhagavkar PS, Narasannavar A, Angolkar M. Impact of social media on young bank employees during COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 30];49:61-9. Available from: https://www.jscisociety.com/text.asp?2022/49/1/61/343696
| Introduction|| |
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that had rapidly spread across the world. This disease was declared a “Pandemic” on March 11, 2020, by the WHO.
It has affected a total of 219 countries as well as territories. It was reported that about 10 crore 9 lakh cases and 22 lakh deaths occurred due to COVID-19 from the day China reported its first case in December 2019 to WHO. India reported its first COVID case on January 30, 2020, in Kerala. Strict lockdown was enforced in the country by the government and other precautionary measures were adopted. On March 24, 2020, a complete lockdown was announced by the Goa government until March 31, 2020. Meanwhile, first, three cases of COVID-19 were detected in Goa on March 25, 2020.
The psychological stress during lockdown included fear of contracting the disease and dying, boredom and depression from being isolated. During this period social media (SM) use saw a sharp increase mainly for the purpose of obtaining information regarding the same. According to the field of infodemiology, COVID-19 has been referred to as the first SM infodemic. In contrast, the pandemic also led to various issues on SM platforms like the false information spread, damaged genuineness of information, instability of news system and especially the health systems.
Bank employees (BE) are special workgroup employees who experience various levels of psychological stress at their workplace due to the workload. Many studies have proven that the stress rate among banking professionals was high. Banks have developed an SM policy for their employees, restricting them to use SM other than for work purposes. However, during the lockdown and till date many of them worked from home which enabled them to use SM accordingly. However, there were no studies showing the impact of SM on young adults employed in banks during the COVID crisis, hence this study had been designed.
| Materials and Methods|| |
A cross-sectional study was conducted between January and April 2021 among BE in various banks across Goa. The data collection procedures complied with the provisions of conducting research on human subjects. Ethical approval for this study was procured from JNMC Institutional Ethics Committee on Human subjects Research, J. N. Medical College, Belagavi, Karnataka, India.
The sample size estimated for the study was 190. For calculations, the confidence interval was set at 95% which meant an error estimate of 5%. The prevalence of the impact of SM in a study was 85.52.
Presently working BE between the age group of 19–39 years were selected through nonprobability convenient sampling. Healthy young BE who could read and understand English and those who used SM were included while those nonwilling individuals were not excluded from the study.
To follow social distancing norms due to COVID-19, the respondents were recruited online. Modified Google forms were developed to collect the required data. The survey URL was disseminated online through SM platforms like E-mail and WhatsApp. It was an open enrolment and participants could complete the survey. The respondents were given a reminder, twice after they received the URL initially with a gap of 1 week each. The online responses were open from February to March 2021.
The questionnaire was in the English language. The form consisted of 6 sections of which the initial section of the Google form was informed consent including the study objective and asking for their willingness to be a part of this study. Section 2 in the survey aimed at obtaining the demographic details of the participants like age, gender, qualification, type of bank employed in and past medical history if any. Section 3 contained questions to obtain data on the use of SM like the platform used, news topics browsed and the categories of information shared, time spent over SM, etc.
The next section assessed the impact of SM on the participants' sleep and fear/anxiety if any experienced. Section 5 had in it the Perceived Stress Scale-10 containing 10 questions with a scale of 0–4 for each question to assess the stress levels. For question numbers 4, 5, 7, and 8 the scores were reversed; 0 = 4, 1 = 3, 2 = 2, 3 = 1, 4 = 0 and these when added up gave a total score. The total scores extending between zero to thirteen were considered to be low stress, 14–26 to be moderate stress and 27–40 was considered to be high stress. Section 6 consisted of the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) of 14 questions. Each question independently scored on a five-point ratio scale where zero indicated no anxiety, one indicated mild anxiety, 2 indicated moderate anxiety. Three indicated severe anxiety and 4 indicated very severe anxiety. A total score was obtained by adding the scores of each question. The calculation yielded a score in the range of 0–56. A score of <17 suggested mild anxiety, 18–24 indicated mild-moderate and that of 25–30 suggested moderate-severe anxiety.
The data were entered, compiled, and coded. The SPSS software, version 20.1 (IBM, United States) was made use of to analyze the coded data. The demographic profile was described with descriptive statistics. The relationship of SMU among the participants during the pandemic with that of stress and anxiety levels was assessed using the Chi-square test.
| Results|| |
One hundred and twenty-six (n = 126) BE participated in this study.
Out of 126 participants, more than half (55.56%) were males and the majority of them belonged to the age group of 24–28 years. 62.6% among them were graduates and 70.7% were employed in bank other than the national or state bank [Table 1].
Majority of the participants used Whatsapp, browsed social news, and used the platforms for >2 h per day [Table 2].
A total of 73 participants thought that publishing news related to COVID-19 on SM spread panic and fear among the people. About 80.15% of the participants felt that filters need to be set up and specific policy followed for SM during the humanitarian crisis [Table 3]
HAM-A test scores show that majority of the participants felt anxious. The calculated mean score was 19.27 with a standard deviation (SD) of 13.91 [Table 4].
|Table 4: Frequency distribution of Participants on Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A scores)|
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The overall calculated mean value was 19.27 (SD = 13.91). Among the participants, 51.6% had mild anxiety, 10.3% had moderate anxiety and 38.1% had severe anxiety levels [Table 5].
Majority of the participants had felt all the symptoms sometimes, mentioned under the scale. The analysis of the data gave a Mean score of 18 with SD of 4.26 [Table 6].
It was seen that 10.3% of the participants had low stress and 89.7% had moderate stress levels [Table 7].
Amongst the socio-demographic variables, the type of bank in which the participants were employed was seen associated with stress. Simultaneously the feelings of disturbed sleep, of being stressed or anxious and having published information related to COVID-19 over SM were associated with stress [Table 8].
The feeling of having disturbed sleep, of being stressed or anxious after reading and publishing information related to COVID-19 were seen to be highly associated with the development of stress among the participants [Table 9].
It was seen that the time spent only on Whatsapp was associated with stress (P = 0.053) [Table 10].
The time spent over Instagram (P = 0.008) and Whatsapp (P = 0.013) was seen to be associated with anxiety among the participants [Table 11].
| Discussion|| |
This online cross-sectional study conducted amid the young BE gave a response of 126 BE who agreed to be a part of the study. Data was collected through Google form questionnaires. The age of the majority of the participants was between 24 and 28 years, 62.6% were graduates whereas, 70.7% were employed in banks other than National and State banks. This study revealed that SM browsing had negative effect psychologically in the course COVID-19 pandemic amid the BE in terms of stress and anxiety.
In the present study, there were 55.56% of males and 44.445 of females. A similar study in Kurdistan also showed a higher prevalence of males than females among the participants. A study conducted in Iran also reported similar findings.
The present study revealed that 60.27% of participants belonged to the age group of 24–28 years. A similar study by Dr. Moorthi et al., reported similar results (33.7%) belonging to the same age group.,,
In this study, majority of the participants were graduates. Similar study among BE showed majority of their participants as graduates. Similar findings were seen in other studies as well.,
In the present study, majority (70.7%) of the participants were employed in banks other than that of national and state. Another study showed that majority of the participants were employed in nationalized banks.
The present study showed that most of the participants used SM sites for 2–3 h per day during the COVID-19 pandemic. A study conducted in China reported that 18.2% of their participants used SM for almost 3 h a day. A similar study in Bangladesh showed that 50% of their participants used SM for 2–4 h a day.
The present study shows that most of the participants spent time using SM sites such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Whatsapp. Similar study conducted among students in India showed maximum use of YouTube, Whatsapp, and Instagram. Another study conducted showed similar findings.,,
In our study, the participants browsed social news very often. In another similar study, 76.4% of participants browsed health news whereas only 2.7% browsed social news.
In the present study, the participants disseminated information related to the number of infections over SM sites. Similar study conducted showed that 26.6% of participants disseminated fake news about COVID-19 over SM, whereas only 17.4% of the participants disseminated information relating to the number of infections.
The present study showed that 51 participants experienced psychological effects after reading the information about COVID-19 on SM. Similarly, another study showed that majority of the participants were affected psychologically.
In our study, a total of 10.3% of participants had low stress and 89.7% had moderate stress. A study conducted in China reported mild stress in 49.37% of participants, moderate stress in 6.22% of participants, and severe stress in 11.45% of participants from SM use. Many other studies reported similar findings among its participants.,
In the present study, 51.6% of the participants had mild anxiety, 10.3% had moderate anxiety levels and 38.1% of them had severe anxiety levels. A similar study conducted among parents in Bahrain showed that 18% of the participants had moderate-severe anxiety symptoms. Similar findings were observed in other studies as well.,
Stress development in the present study was associated with the type of bank the participants were employed in a similar study conducted in the United States showed association of stress development with the age of the participants. Another study showed age and gender associated with stress development among its participants. Two more studies in Iran and in India also saw similar associations among the participants.,
In our study, there were no associations seen between sociodemographic variables and anxiety among the participants. However, a study conducted in India showed gender and employment status to be associated with anxiety. Another study in Iran showed gender and marital status to be associated with anxiety development among the participants.
The present study showed that having feelings of sleeplessness and being stressed or anxious were associated with stress development. Having published information or news related to COVID-19 on SM was also seen associated with stress. Another study in India showed that difficulty in sleeping and inability to control the feeling of anxiety was associated with stress.
The feeling of sleeplessness and of being scared, stressed or anxious was seen associated with anxiety among the participants after reading the information or news related to COVID-19 on SM. A similar study among BE showed that difficulty in sleeping and being worried or anxious were associated with anxiety development.
The time spent by the participants using SM sites like Whatsapp (>2 h a day) is seen to be associated with stress development among participants in the present study. Similar study conducted in China showed that more SM use led to higher stress levels among the participants. Another study in China reported that SM exposure for more than 3 h was associated with increased stress levels. Similar findings were seen in other studies as well.,
In the present study, time spent by the participants using SM sites like Whatsapp and Instagram (>2 h a day) is seen to be associated with higher anxiety levels among the participants. A study in Thailand showed that more hours of exposure per day to COVID-19 related information led to increased severity of anxiety symptoms. A similar study in Bangladesh revealed that participants using SM for more than 4 h per day had 1.52 times higher anxiety levels. Similar findings were seen in other studies as well.,,
| Conclusion|| |
The present study concludes that increased SM use among the BE was associated with negative psychological outcomes. The types of effects that SM has on BE varies with the age of BE and the type of banks they are working in whether national, state or others. Anxiety and stress were associated with the amount of time consumed browsing SM sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. However, lesser time consumed over SM information related to COVID-19 led to decreased psychological effects.
More variables could have been included in the study design. Social and family dimensions could have added to the understanding.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8], [Table 9], [Table 10], [Table 11]