COVID-19, Digital Media, and Health| Health Messaging and Social Media: An Examination of Message Fatigue, Race, and Emotional Outcomes Among Black Audiences

Hope Hickerson, David Stamps


Black audiences view and participate in social media at greater rates than their racial counterparts. However, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our understanding of the relationship between Black communities’ engagement with health messages about COVID-19 posted on social media and group-based emotional outcomes is limited. Using a cross-sectional Black adult sample (N = 328) and applying assumptions from the intergroup emotions theory and the literature on message fatigue, the present work examines the relationship between the consumption of health messages on social media, message fatigue, message overload, and Black audiences’ emotional well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results suggest that social media fatigue, particularly in response to health messages about COVID-19 and Black communities, mediates the relationship between social media consumption and a range of complex and multifaceted group-based emotions. These outcomes help assess the emotional well-being of Black communities during a pandemic that has impacted Black individuals at alarming rates; further, the results extend the conversation regarding social media as a contributor to individuals’ self-perception and well-being.


Black audiences, COVID-19, intergroup emotions, health messages, social media

Full Text: