For some time now, I have been quiet. If you ask my family they will disagree, however, I am talking about on social media. Yes of course I have shared a silly post, or something similar, but other than that, I have been, like most of us, trying to make sense of what’s going on around us at this rather bizarre time. Now stop right here... This is not a deep theological epiphany, just a realisation.
Firstly, what I have noticed. Apart from the obvious, it seems that everyone has a strong opinion about something at the moment. Whether it’s how the virus came about, how we should be behaving, how to cope at trying not to kill your kids at home, or simply who exactly has hoarded all the loo roll, everyone seems to be a sudden expert. In the words of Donald Trump, “I have the best words”.
This has led me to think about the “why?” Why does everyone feel that they need to share their bit of advice (more so than usual at this time?) Because let’s face it, there is A LOT of information out there, in fact, there is just too much. I recently set up a rule on my mom’s computer (thank you Microsoft for inventing Quick Assist… no. REALLY… thank you… …) that automatically moves everything with “COVID-19” into a separate folder, and out of her inbox.
Why? Well because on average, I suspect most people’s inboxes have increased exponentially in traffic, to the point where they have become fairly pointless to try and navigate. For some reason, my phone company is sending me daily COVID-19 updates. A company that relies totally on technology - That is a “why” that I still can’t understand.
Business aside, it still seems as though there is a lot of info going around that is just plain confusing everyone. As individuals it feels a bit liek mosquitoes buzzing around us and when we do get bitten, we focus on it so much, we loose track of what we were trying to do in the first place. In South Africa, the government has now made it a punishable offence if false information is spread around. I.e. If you share a post on Facebook about the president announcing that there is a cure, and that you need to shower after you think you might have caught the virus, you can get fined.. Well, Good lets start making ourselves responsible for what we share, before the government start making us responsible.
But deeper than this, I think the WHY is a bit more simple. We are all feeling our security shaken a bit at the moment, with jobs, families, communities and general lives all up in the air that we are struggling with our security. Our security in who we are and our purpose at this time. And that is why I think people are keen to share, to strengthen ourselves and solidify who we are in a time of such uncertainty (I have been challenged to try and not use the word unprec&dented and so will find the better words...) at least appear that they have control of what is going on, to have a voice, and to be important. Who knows, maybe that’s why I’m writing this? But as the sage suggests below, maybe it’s better to keep quiet at this time and hear the voices that really matter, the ones we need to hear
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Proverbs 17:28
So in the midst of a barrage of information, I have decided to share the following:
1) Check your source – is it real, or is it not real! (Snopes is a good one.)
2) Do I really need to share it, or is there maybe something a bit better to share – like a bit of fun!
3) Do your bit and ask the real questions – Where does my security (trust) lie?
Enjoy yourselves as you hunker down with all the loo roll you will ever need and feel free to drop me a line if you want to catch up! firstname.lastname@example.org