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Self-isolation and social media, expert says be vigilant

Published Mar 20, 2020


CAPE TOWN - Self-isolation and social distancing means an increase in social media consumption and information overload says digital life skills expert, Dean McCoubrey.

McCoubrey says we should also monitor the information we absorb via the news and social media. Those who suspect they may have come into contact with the coronavirus are being advised to self-isolate or stay at home for at least 14 days and this means more time on their hands for social media.

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“If social media users are going to be consuming copious amounts of information through their social media feeds and replacing it as their news feed, they may not be fully aware of what they are actually being fed,” says McCoubrey.

“We pick up and absorb information we see on social media and unless we are guarded and apply critical thinking, then it can autopilot its way into our system. With regards to coronavirus we need to understand that some people within our social circle could be wholly incorrect,” he said.

At the same time, McCoubrey says that social media might be able to help society during this time of a global pandemic. With the rise in technology, reliable and accurate information is able to be shared at a much faster rate.

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“I’m pro-tech, but the problem with all this information is that we also have people who are suffering from anxiety, people who are buying seven thousand toilet rolls. We need to remain positive and supportive to our family, our community and in our workplaces. We need to be using our energy in the right direction,” he said.

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