When viruses and misinformation spread: How young Singaporeans navigated uncertainty in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak

Edson C. Tandoc, James Chong Boi Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Guided by the frameworks of uncertainty management and sensemaking during crises, this study examined how young adults in Singapore managed uncertainty around the COVID-19 outbreak. Through a series of eight focus group discussions involving 89 young adults, we found that participants experienced uncertainty about the outbreak, especially when it comes to how they should protect themselves. They managed this uncertainty in two ways: while some engaged in information seeking, others engaged in information scanning. Those who did not actively seek information did not avoid it either, with some of them finding it impossible to avoid information about COVID-19, as it comes up in their routine social media use and offline conversations. Understanding COVID-19 as an illness that does not threaten young people, our participants noted only minimal disruptions to them. Instead, they were more concerned about their parents and older family members, whom they considered as more vulnerable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-796
Number of pages19
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • health crises
  • information scanning
  • misinformation
  • uncertainty

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'When viruses and misinformation spread: How young Singaporeans navigated uncertainty in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this