A Viral Recession: How social media will impact the 2023 recession

A Viral Recession: How social media will impact the 2023 recession

Written by Katie Gomez

As we venture into the new year, it is becoming more and more apparent that the possibility of a recession in 2023 is imminent. A recession is never a good thing for the economy, but the advantage we now have is hindsight. The housing crisis in 2008 still affects businesses and the overall economy today. In this article, I will discuss how the next recession is unlikely to unfold like the last due to the advantage of hindsight and the new social media generation. 

Recessions are not new. We experienced one after the housing market crash in 2008, we are aware of the impacts it will have on all aspects of the economy. However, social media is a new factor to consider for the first time in history. How will social media affect the coming recession? Will social media have a positive or negative impact on the imminent recession? Social media outlets have the power to spread news faster and more efficiently compared to media 15 years ago. This recession should not take anyone by surprise because social media outlets (Reddit, Twitter, TikTok, etc.) have been advertising their predictions since 2019.  

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The age of the side hustle 

Since COVID, the % of people who no longer participate in a typical 9 to 5 job has skyrocketed. Researchers predict the unemployment crisis will not hit the working population as hard or be as widespread, given that layoffs don’t seem as terrifying. According to CNBC, roughly 47 million people in the last year voluntarily quit their job to pursue other passions, such as opening Etsy stores, copywriting, podcasting, consulting, affiliate marketing, social media influencing, marketing, and even stock trading. Unlike in 2008, people now have the knowledge and opportunities to create work without relying solely on a company paycheck.

There are also hundreds of other possible niche markets people can turn to if the upcoming recession does result in layoffs; side hustles are becoming consistently more lucrative over the years with the help of social media. Additionally, other part-time income sources are still readily available and actively seeking participants, such as ride-share programs, TaskRabbit jobs, or nannying. 

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The importance of social media during a recession 

Social media marketing will also serve as the saving grace for companies, big or small, during the recession; continuing to have that access to consumer bases will allow fewer businesses to struggle or even shut down. What benefits could come out of recession? Many view economic downturns as bad for businesses everywhere, but it doesn’t have to be. Playing it safe is not the way lucrative companies such as Google, Disney, and Apple rose in the rankings when they started. In their early days, these companies demonstrated strength in the face of adversities, from the dot-com bubble burst to the Great Depression. We cannot put our livelihoods on hold because of fear, and social media is the perfect outlet to keep relevant. If you are a day trader or swing trader, continue to take advantage of Twitter and Reddit, stay in the loop, and remain active in your trades. 

On the other hand, if you are a small business owner questioning your next move with the recession looming, keep marketing with social media to stay relevant to your prospects and clients. The strongest people who will come out of this recession are those who keep moving. Successful individuals that can survive obstacles like recessions see untapped potential and opportunities where others retreat in fear—they are like sharks—they know to keep swimming or else they’ll die. 

Instead of putting our lives on hold, we must stay active on social media for marketing and staying in the loop. The dramatic turnover in Twitter ownership is the perfect example of how things can change when there is a power shift. Elon makes snap decisions that sometimes backfire as he learns to navigate running a huge media platform. Information via social media moves fast, just like the stock market. 

Traders and investors can no longer rely on newspaper outlets to provide the newest, most accurate information about the market. While newspapers are still helpful in providing current events, the fast-paced environment of the stock market requires a news outlet that can keep up with it. If you’re not yet a social media person, try starting an account and following some accounts you trust. Even if you’re not posting, social media is currently an efficient place to get the latest, trending news—just be careful to verify breaking news before acting on anything.

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Should I sell my shares if a recession is coming?

Responding to a market recession is tricky, given we’re usually unable to time exactly when it will hit. Given that we now live in the age of instant media, precision timing is more attainable than ever. That said, we must be aware that social media acts as a double-edged sword when it comes to information; if you put all your trust into what is trending, you can find yourself in a spiral of paranoia when you hear you should sell your stock. Therefore, you must listen to something other than the first thing you hear; do your due diligence in research, avoid impulsive decisions, and follow your instincts (something easily clouded nowadays by others’ opinions).

If you search on the web for “How to prepare for a recession?” you’ll receive myriad results, depending on the outlet you’re reading. Nowadays, people are turning to smaller media sources or even Reddit threads to get more targeted advice from individuals in similar situations. Therefore, the best advice you could receive is to hold off on any hasty or impulsive changes and maintain a long-term outlook. Keep a lookout for new opportunities, stay on top of your investments, and proceed with business as usual. If you learn to flip your perspective from a paranoid seller to an optimistic buyer, your view of the recession might change from disaster to opportunity.