By editor Mosa Mahlangu
Given that I am an editor for the prestigious Onembiss in a rampant information age, this outpouring may be a surprise to many.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been THE thing for a long time (which feels like forever). It beset us when we least expected, and indeed stirred a lot of change and confusion in our lives. Especially when it was the new kid in the block, the pandemic has been nothing short of chaos, and what makes it worse is the juggling of opinions on social media, the misinformation, the conspiracy theories (I still cannot wrap my head around the connection between 5G and the virus), unconfirmed news and of course the long WhatsApp voice notes, devoid of science and reliable sources. Often you wish to disappear from social media because it is just a lot to take in, and for most people, it is very easy to be convinced by anything. However, the sad reality is, I have had to continue using social media because my work relies on it. I wish I had all the energy and will to do so, but I honestly could not cope with having my attention split between my work and keeping up with current affairs, what people say on social media and repeatedly asking people not to send me those WhatsApp voice notes (let alone dealing with random video calls that I am not in the mood for). So, for the sake of my mental health I’ve had to discipline myself and intentionally ignore news feeds and posts that have nothing to do with what I am focusing on. Yes, I know. It’s a very hard thing to do for many. You may tell yourself “I’m just going to check her Twitter profile and draw some inspiration for her article” until something about vaccines and second strains pops up. Your attention ends up misdirected and swallowed up (that's if you don't go on to binge on cat videos, challenges of all sorts and what celebrities are up to). I've had to discipline myself though and focus on what is important without rendering myself uninformed of what matters. I would rather be a semi-clueless editor for a world-class platform like Onembiss and not participate in any discussion or debate without being properly informed than to engage and make things worse (and equally embarrass myself). I choose sanity. I choose my battles carefully.
Almost everything in this world (whether it is on social media, news channels or in your social circles) is out to get your attention. The question is where do you choose to place yours?