The world is on high alert in the current global climate, given the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Although the conflict is oceans away from us in the Western Cape, people on social media have wasted no time in sharing their thoughts on ‘WWIII’, so much so that #WWIII was trending on Twitter. TikTok’s ‘For You’ page has also become populated with everyone and their cousin’s opinions on the happenings, ranging from ‘live footage’ to outright conspiracy theories.
Still, we’re living in an enhanced era of paranoia, despite knowing that we can’t simply believe everything shared in a WhatsApp group. Discernment tends to shift in times of fear, and so every time we see a plane cruising a little too close to the ground for our liking, our shoulders might get tense and our hands sweaty.
Yesterday, a bomb scare happened in George, which, without understanding the full context might have had some people holding their breaths.
However, the full context was that the scare was planned and false, directed by The George Municipality’s Disaster Management and the SAPs as well as Metro and EMS services as a full-scale exercise which The George Herald and municipal liaison officer Ntobeko Manquenqwe confirmed.
“It was intended to assess the evacuation procedure and emergency services response towards such an event,” expressed Manquenqwe.
Now more than ever we should be aware of the fact that precautionary measures for unrelated disaster management reasons will still occur.
On the thread of social media’s role as an ‘informer’ connected to the invasion in Ukraine, more than ever we need to be discerning with information and remember that sometimes impulse sharing without fact-checking can be counterproductive.