Who wants to grow old in Welfare Sweden?


  • Jasmina Maric Interaction Design, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3895-6089




Sweden, trust, social media, whistleblower, fear, social support


The research presented in this paper focuses on social media usage, specifically Facebook, in times of the Covid-19 crisis when some Swedish citizens lost trust in their official institutions. Once Sweden decided not to comply with WHO recommendations, the great majority of the Swedish population rallied around the flag in support of that move. For those who questioned this approach not much support was available, so they turned to social media. We ran a survey of 371 Facebook users gathered around the “Dr Whistleblower oxygen for all” group. Combining quantitative and qualitative analysis, in this study we analyse the role of social media in situations when people lose trust in public institutions and are left out. The most interesting and surprising result of this study is the discovery of fear for Dr Whistleblower’s future, and fear for participants’ own lives. We argue that in times of grave crisis, when we need reliable information the most, we turn to social media not only due to its immediacy but also due to its ability to connect us with a much wider circle of people than our close circle of friends can do. Then, more than ever, we look for trustworthy information, we express our fears and look for help online, thus seriously disrupting the traditional news landscape.