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Is Facebook Our New Best Friend?

Is Facebook Our New Best Friend?


    Spending non-quality time on Facebook is something we all are guilty of; very few have managed to escape its web. From showing off to feeling lonely, Facebook has seen more sides of us than even some of our closest “peeps”.

    Now don’t get me wrong — I am well aware of the positive aspects that social networking brings to our society. From keeping in touch to expanding our horizon (and even networking), there are numerous benefits it has to offer. However if not used cautiously, social networking can take over our lives and leave behind a feeling of discontent and emptiness, irrespective of how many status updates we continue to post.

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    Here are a few reasons why you should avoid over-indulging in the world of Facebook (and other social networks) and revisit the wonders of the real world.

    You Don’t Actually Have Hundreds of Friends

    Let’s be honest: no one does.

    Facebook has managed to soften the line between ‘acquaintances’ and ‘friends’, giving us the illusion that everyone is our pal. Not only that, but somehow quality is discounted and one is perceived by the quantity of friends they keep.

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    Ensure that you can distinguish between people that are close to your heart from those that are close to the ‘Like’ button in the endless realm of Facebook. Make ‘real’ time for your ‘real’ friends. Though Facebook might excel in getting people closer, it is equally sophisticated in adding distance between relationships that we might overlook.

    Status Updates are More Fun in Person

    Have we all forgotten the joys of screaming out your engagement plans or the news about getting a promotion in person? Does the exciting news of expecting a niece or a nephew sound equally thrilling when you hear it through Facebook? Have our lives really gotten so busy that we consciously choose to deprive ourselves of the love and affection sharing such moments in person or over a phone call can offer?

    To me, these are the little joys of life that I wouldn’t want to miss out on simply for the sake of convenience. Aren’t these happy emotions simply going to waste when there is no one to receive them? Have you ever looked back at an event and cherished Facebook ‘Likes’ over the shocked and excited faces of your friends — or that screaming hug from your sibling?

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    Sometimes ‘Too Much Information’ Does Exist

    Though Facebook might bring us to conclude that everything is public information, be assured that it is not true. We all know of people whose life you could simply live through their status updates or Twitter feed. From what they had for lunch to the color of their workout shoes, does the world really need to know it all?

    Though information is much easier to share in the virtual world, we forget the fact that not everything is for everyone’s ears. Consciously or unconsciously, we are influencing our circle and also the world’s perception about us. Your young niece doesn’t need to know about your party weekends and your grandpa can live without hearing about your ex’s. Save the world the trouble!

    Constant Search for Attention Can Be Heartbreaking

    Facebook secretly converts everyone into attention seekers whether you admit it or not. Though I’ve never spent extended periods of time on Facebook, it doesn’t take long to realize that you feel left out when nothing is ‘happening’ in your life worth updating the world about. Subconsciously we end up comparing our lives to everyone else’s and the feeling of despair creeps in.

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    We need to let go of identifying ourselves with our Facebook page and recognize that our actions or inactions in our daily lives is what determines our self-worth. Not only will this prevent us from turning into Facebook maniacs — constantly clicking pictures of ourselves and everything that we do in the desperate quest for more ‘Likes’ — but it will also free up a great deal of our time, which is then available for whatever our heart may desire.

    Though very few of us will admit to be addicted to Facebook, most of us can agree that we spend more time on it than we would like. To fully utilize the benefits of social networking, just like everything else, one needs to practice the art of balance. Leave a ‘hello’ on the wall of a friend that’s across the miles and indulge in a dessert with a cup of coffee with someone who is only a few minutes away. Update your profile picture for those who cannot see you in person and for the rest…dress to impress.

    Let’s be honest…there is no way a ‘Like’ can make you blush the way a real compliment does.

    (Photo credit: Finger Community via Shutterstock)

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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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