The South African Facebook of Fear

The South African Facebook of Fear

The South African Facebook of Fear is a social media trend I have noticed amongst emigrants of South Africa. It starts sometime after they leave.

I find it more and more lately and to be honest, it grates me.

I too am leaving South Africa. But not for the reasons you may be thinking.

I have seen many friends and family members emigrate from South Africa. And let’s be honest, I understand why some of them do it. But I want to be clear, I am not emigrating.

The South African Facebook of Fear

I see so many emigrants of South Africa that have allowed their Facebook pages to become an advert for how sh*t South Africa is.

Somewhere in their first year or so away from South Africa they start to share news articles about missing children in South Africa, about the crime rates, or corruption, the economy, the rate of unemployment. All of it, negative.

This becomes their favourite thing to share. I do not get it. 

What are they saying? “I got out! Look at this sh*t hole I came from!” Maybe they’re saying “You are so unsafe! Come join me!” I mean… misery loves company, right? So maybe?

But why do they do it? Where does this desire come from to spread fear and hate?

It seems slightly hypocritical, as the people I know who have fallen into this pattern, never posted things like this while they were at home in South Africa. Why start now?

Let’s be silly and assume they share these articles because they want their friends to read them. Right? Seems logical. Let’s also be real about the fact that a large portion of their friends on Facebook are still in South Africa.

There is therefore no other logical explanation other than to assume they want their South African family and friends to read negative news about their home country. They want to spread fear amongst their South African friends. Possibly also to boast or brag that they got out? I really don’t know.

A promise to my fellow South Africans

There are two promises. And I make them to myself first, but I make them to all South Africans.

I promise that I will never spread hate and fear for our beautiful country. Nor will I bash it unnecessarily. I will never act better than you because I do not live in South Africa anymore. This is not the case, and all I want to spread, is love.

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Here at Sassy Escape, the only thing I escaped from was the rate race, the slavery and monotony of 9 to 5. Not from South Africa.

I encourage travel, and I encourage each person to see a different reality to their own. It is my humble opinion that staying in one place your whole life is not how we were supposed to live. We were originally nomadic. And that is why I am leaving. I am going exploring.

This leads me to my second promise; I am not leaving South Africa because I hate it. I cherish this beautiful country and have so much hope and love for it.

South Africans unfortunately love to complain. It is in our nature. I, too, have fallen into this trap before. Sometimes it is contagious. But i recognise it as a trap. And I want out.

I am also not ignorant to the problems South Africa has. We have plenty. I do not bury my head in the sand. Sometimes they keep me up at night. But, I am also aware of how many problems each country has. We are not unique in our human struggle. In fact, in this crazy world we live in, many consider us lucky.

I will never be sensational about the problems of our people. I promise to be honest, but real.

It is this awareness of the vast similarities and differences we share with the world that makes me want to travel. I want to know the world better, to explore and examine history and cultures, first hand. I am not emigrating or running away from South Africa, rather I am going backpacking around the world and I am documenting my findings. My mission is to share love and understanding.

The world needs more love and understanding.

I am not emigrating

According to Quora, the difference between “immigrate” and “emigrate” is that “immigrating” is the act of entering a foreign country to live while “emigrating” is the act of leaving a country to live in another. … I am an immigrant to Canada, and an emigrant of the USA.

So as far as I understand it, to emigrate is to leave a country to find residence in another. It is a push-factor that makes you leave your country.

On the contrary, I have this pull-factor that is drawing me to the world. It’s been calling my name for many years.

I quit the rat-race, but I didn’t quit being a South African. This integral part of who I am, will accompany me around the world.

I will never be sensational about the problems of our people. I promise to be honest, but real.

This entire beautiful and scary world has a terrible and gripping human condition. One of violence, greed and intolerance. This is not a South African problem, and I refuse to act as if we are special. Or that we are victims of a South African burden. This is a burden the world carries. We have our problems, but we are not unique. And the more we complain and spread fear, the worse it gets.

Let’s spread love.

sassy-escape-love-south-africa

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Full-time traveler. My aim is to inspire others to travel more, and to be less afraid of the world.

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