Lies and over dramatized.

Let’s be honest. We all love traveling, but it does not take long for us to start longing back to our beloved homeland. Even if it is just for the little things. So we start googling and reading, more googling and reading and soon we’re backslapped by the wilderness we once called our home. Lies and over dramatized. That’s all it is. We should not be oblivious to the fact that there are problems and for some of us those problems are the reason we went to secure a future elsewhere, but if there is one thing I’ve personally learned on my travels was always take the news with a grain of salt. No matter from which country you read it.

A lot of online news sites generate income from ads. The more dramatic, violent and sexualized the ads, the more clicks they get. Hence more income. Not that running ads is wrong. Writers are entitled to earn an income, but not from click bating people to read their articles.

Not too long ago I read the article of a man in Sydney, Australia, who found a stranger in his house. A struggle broke out and the burglar died on the scene. Details around the whole event were at that stage a bit vague but it was clear the man died while being in a headlock from the owner of the house. The owner turned out to be South African. A few days later, I read a similar article on a South African news site. Headlining, South African man beats burglar to death.  This is a great example of fake news. Using a real event and manipulating the truth to enhance an audience.

It confirmed what I have always tried to explain to my fellow expats. When reading news about home, don’t just believe everything you read. Make sure. Read other articles and news agency blogs so that you know who to believe. A news headline is also not the full picture. Digging into the article will quite often reveal a much different result than what the headline will make you believe. I have seen this on 80 percent of all news articles I’ve clicked.

It is true. Some of us got hurt. Still, it saddens me to see so many expats South Africans jumping at any headline they can find to help to justify the decision they made to emigrate. South Africa has problems, but when you focus on those things it is all you will ever see.

For most of us, we still have friends and family back home, fighting the good fight, to help make South Africa the light on the hill in Africa.

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