Since 2009, Greece has been experiencing a fast growing economic downfall, which has deeply affected the psychology of Greeks. Unemployment rates increased tremendously leaving many people, previously occupied with a job, being currently unemployed and not being able to meet their responsibilities or even pay for their most basic necessities. On the other hand, young graduates do not have the opportunity to find a job and grow their talents. As a result, they are either lead to migration or to an underpaid job, if any. Taxation is rapidly increasing causing inflation in prices for the customers and reduced turnover for the businesses. Greece is not anymore viewed as an attractive country to invest and grow a business, as there is high political instability. Within only one year (2015), 3 elections took place in Greece; 2 governmental and the referendum elections that were held during July imposing the capital controls that are still applicable up until today.
But how did social media affected the economic crisis? What is the role of the media in the psychology of the Greeks during these tough times?
In fact, high unemployment rates resulted in an increase of mobile usage and thus of the social media activity as well. During these fast moving changes and events, studies reveal that there had been an increasing propensity for protest behavior, especially from younger people (Groshek & Al-Rawl, 2015). The Greek crisis has been played “[…] minute by minute, tweet by tweet, across Twitter, Facebook and newspaper live blogs. Twitter hasn’t merely reflected fast-moving events: it has actively shaped them” (Harding, 2015).
In another point of view, everyone during these times became an “expert” in the field of politics, expressing their opinion and fanaticism towards their beliefs and views. Many powerful social media opinion leaders affected the belief of the mass audience resulting in a rather passive attitude towards the numerous memorable Greek moments (Trottier & Fuchs, 2014).
Lastly, limitless flow of information through the social media sometimes results in an uncontrolled leakage of news. In other words, harsh news about the serious impact of the Greek economic downfall in the quality of people’s life have been widely demonstrated. Too much information about (TMI) about suicides, depression, and poverty discourages and angers the already devastated Greek population.
GROSHEK, J., & AL-RAWI, A. (2015). Anti-Austerity in the Euro Crisis: Modeling Protest With Online-Mobile-Social Media Usage, Users, and Content. International Journal Of Communication (19328036), 93280-3303.
Harding, L (2015). Greek crisis: Twitter actively shapes fast-moving events. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/09/greek-crisis-twitter-social-media.
Trotteir, D. & Fuchs, C. (2014). Social media, politics and the state: Protests, revolutions, riots, crime and policing in the age of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (1st ed.). Routledge.