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25 Websites Other Than Social Media To Upgrade Your Life

25 Websites Other Than Social Media To Upgrade Your Life

Have you been spending too much of your time on social media recently? Is that making much of your internet usage wasteful? Social media can be so addictive, so much that we spend hours on it without really noticing.

While social media does contribute in healthy discussions and is also our primary source of news and ideas at times, it’s equally likely to encourage us to refrain from learning something useful in our lives. It’s very important to keep our social media usage in check if we want to enrich ourselves with great learning experiences and upgrade our lives.

Here are 25 great websites which you should check if you want to escape from the vicious trap of social media and live a life full of knowledge, joy, and inspiration.

1. Coursera

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    Coursera offers MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on wide range of subjects from hundreds of institutions and renowned professors. You can teach yourself anything from history to programming and learn with a large online community. You can receive a world class education right from your home for free and develop a solid background in a subject area of your interest.

    2. edX

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      edX is another MOOC platform where you can take online courses from the finest universities in the world. It was initiated as a joint venture by MIT and Harvard University. It also offers hundreds of courses in different subject areas, similar to Coursera.

      3. Khan Academy

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        At Khan Academy, you can access a wide-ranging library of interactive content on almost every subject out there. You don’t only learn those subjects through wonderful videos, but you also have chance to practice on the subject regularly and keep track of your learning. It’s a great platform to both learn new things and expand on earlier knowledge.

        4. Udemy

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          Udemy is also a MOOC provider, but unlike academic MOOC providers like Coursera and edX, it focuses on providing real-world skills online. It offers courses on topics from building an ecommerce site and playing guitar to photography. It’s actually a marketplace for online learning, where experts on different subjects offer you lessons, either for free or at a certain price.

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          5. Quora

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            You can learn almost anything on Quora from experts and recognized people, as well as not-so-famous people. This is a question-answer platform where users ask and answer questions. But, unlike other similar sites, the user profiles are authentic and questions and answers are managed according to their uniqueness and relevance.

            6. Stack Overflow

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              Stack Overflow is probably the single most important site for a programmer. If you’re a programmer, or want to learn programming, this site should easily be your best friend. At this question-answer site for programmers, you can ask questions about your computing difficulties and learn from other people’s answers.

              7. Codeacademy

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                At Codeacademy, you can learn programming languages like HTML, CSS, PHP, and Python in a very easy and interactive way. It makes programming a fun activity and is very handy for beginners starting at programming. However, the depth it covers is very shallow and this site is helpful only for introductory knowledge of the subject.

                8. Tutorialspoint

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                  Tutorialspoint is another programming and computer science related site on this list, which helps you master different computer-related topics. It provides in-depth knowledge, unlike Codecademy. You can grow on the basic foundation provided by Codeacademy and achieve mastery on anything from Big Data to App Development at Tutorialspoint.

                  9. eHow

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                    eHow teaches you wide array of skills on different topics step-by-step. The content is created by its team of writers, called experts, who create how-to guides on topics from personal hygiene to food recipes. You can learn anything from making a Raspberry Pi Alarm clock to making a scarecrow for your garden.

                    10. Wikihow

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                      WikiHow is another how-to site teaching us how to do things in an organized manner, but it has been modeled as a Wiki. At eHow, the staff themselves are paid to create the guides, but at Wikihow, everyone can edit, modify, and delete content. So, it’s not just about learning — you can also teach others the valuable skills you possess.

                      11. HowStuffWorks

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                        HowStuffWorks is another wonderful website to broaden your horizons, providing you with very unique and interesting information on a wide range of topics. It contains articles focusing on issues which haven’t been explored much previously. If you want to move an inch closer to the truth, this is surely the website you should visit often.

                        12. TED

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                          According to TED, its mission is to spread ideas that are worth spreading. It features talks on variety of topics by experts in their fields who share their ideas, visions, and experiences through video talks. These talks are great way to introduce yourself very quickly and effortlessly to new concepts and develop new insights and perspectives.

                          13. Lumosity

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                            Lumosity is a great website to improve your mental faculties like memory, attention, and analytical skills. You can train your brain with fun games, and it also offers you personalized training programs to restructure the training as per your needs and keep track of the progress. Its objective is to make you clever, and it’s quite addictive as well.

                            14. Duolingo

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                              Duolingo is an award-winning platform that helps you learn and master new languages with minimal effort. It provides you advanced skills in several popular languages, such as Spanish, English, German, and French. It makes language learning a very easy and fun process and it’s completely free as well.

                              15. Instructables

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                                Instructables is another wonderful site you should definitely choose over social media, which teaches you to create things. It offers you fun videos and instructions to build just about everything that you can imagine, from a cardboard batman cowl to water balloon mortar. You can also share what you can make with other people.

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                                16. Digital Photography School

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                                  Digital Photography School is probably the most important photography blog out there, which offers plenty of tutorials to improve your photography skills. It doesn’t matter if you’ve years of experience under your belt or you’re just starting out, this site will surely help you grow as a photographer. It also provides you the opportunity to connect with a community of fellow photographers.

                                  17. All Recipes

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                                    At All Recipes, you can find recipes for almost all kind of dishes. You can even enter ingredients and find possible dishes you can cook with your available list of ingredients. There are very easy and quick-to-cook recipes as well, so you can satisfy your palate in a short time and without much hastle. This one is definitely the site to help you embark on a cooking adventure.

                                    18. Spreeder

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                                      Reading quickly is an ability desired by many of us but also one which very few of us possess. Spreeder is there to help us achieve exactly that. It is an online speed-reading software that aims to help us improve our reading speed, and comprehension capabilities as well, and is completely free.

                                      19. Project Gutenberg

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                                        Project Gutenberg offers you more than 50,000 eBooks, all for free. You can download these books in ePUB, Kindle, or PDF formats, or you can even read them online. This site is completely legal as well, since the books available are ones with copyrights that have expired or that have been made free for non-commercial use by the publishers.

                                        20. Investopedia

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                                          Investopedia is your ultimate finance guru that teaches you everything you need to know about financial trends and also helps you to keep your own personal finance in their best shape. With this site, you can teach yourself about investments, share markets, liquidity, accounts, and much more. There are abundant tutorials and videos to help you with that as well.

                                          21. Curious

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                                            Curious provides you with more than 17,000 lessons in almost any topic. As the site states, its mission is to help you learn something new every day and you can start it for free, but you have to pay certain amount to get unauthorized access.  You can learn from the world’s best teachers in topics spanning across humanities, STEM, music, relationships, and more.

                                            22. Memrise

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                                              Memrise helps you learn new things in small chunks. It offers small-sized learning packages in a wide range of topics, from language learning, arts and literature, history, and geography to math and science. The lessons are additive in nature, meaning you learn small packages at a time and build upon earlier packages to learn advanced skills.

                                              23. Zen Habits

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                                                Zen Habits is one of the best motivational blogs on the web, which aims to help you find simplicity amidst the chaos of your daily life. It helps you get rid of the mess and focus on the things that are important and that matter the most to you. The site’s design also embodies its principle, as it’s minimalistic and publishes only the best and most meaningful articles.

                                                24. Brain Pickings

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                                                  Brain Pickings is not just another productivity blog in the crowd out there, it’s one of the most soulful and inspiring blogs on the web. It features thoughtful and analytical articles on topics related to literature, spirituality, creativity, and personal growth. Its focus is on things that truly help us grow and things that really matter, and the blog’s not very hard to keep up with either, as it posts few but powerful articles.

                                                  25. Psychology Today

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                                                    Psychology Today teaches you about various facets of human psychology, helping you to understand the ways in which people behave. Its rich pool of articles help you fathom different aspects of human life, such as relationships, neuroscience, addiction, motivation, amongst others. You can benefit by applying these principles to the betterment of your life.

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                                                    Nabin Paudyal

                                                    Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                                                    Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                                                    The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

                                                    The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

                                                    In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

                                                    Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

                                                    Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

                                                    Conflicts are literally everywhere.

                                                    Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

                                                    Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

                                                    Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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                                                    Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

                                                    Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

                                                    Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

                                                    The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

                                                    Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

                                                    Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

                                                    How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

                                                    Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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                                                    Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

                                                    Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

                                                    How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

                                                    Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

                                                    Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

                                                    Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

                                                    How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

                                                    Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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                                                    Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

                                                    Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

                                                    How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

                                                    Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

                                                    Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

                                                    Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

                                                    How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

                                                    Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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                                                    Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

                                                    Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

                                                    How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

                                                    Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

                                                    Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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