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This Is How A Stolen Phone Connected Two People In Different Countries Who Became Friends

This Is How A Stolen Phone Connected Two People In Different Countries Who Became Friends

If you have ever had your iPhone stolen, you try to get over your anger, buy a new one and move on. Read on, because I am going to tell you how the guy who had his phone stolen became famous overnight in China. The power of viral messages on the Internet will amaze you.

It all started when….

Matt Stopera, who works at Buzz Feed, went to his normal after work drink spot to unwind about a year ago in East Village, New York. Unfortunately, his iPhone was stolen. Matt got over it and bought a new iPhone. However, he forgot to do one little administrative task,  which was to have extraordinary consequences.

One day, something strange happened…

Months passed and Matt had almost forgotten the unpleasant incident. But, while looking for photos to put on Instagram a month ago, he suddenly noticed rather unusual and strange photos in his photo stream. There were a lot of photos of a guy standing in front of an orange tree! He had no idea who this guy was. How on earth did those photos get on his iPhone stream? There were also photos of shops, fireworks and buildings he did not recognize.

He decided to tweet a message about this as it was so strange:

“Um, I just looked at my phone’s photo stream and it’s full of pics of some guy and an orange tree I def didn’t take.”

He soon realized that these photos were taken somewhere in the Far East. Could it be that his iPhone, like so many others, had ended up in China?

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As this was the time The Interview film had been released, maybe there was a North Korean gremlin in the works or could it be a sign?

Whatever the explanation, Matt was able to watch his new iPhone’s owner’s life as it unfolded. He was hooked.

Then, it suddenly dawned on him that he had not disabled his iCloud drive on the stolen phone. That was easily fixed, and he thought that was that, because his new orange tree friend would no longer be able to access the iCloud account. It was over and he had learned his lesson.

The story goes viral.

Matt was astonished to learn that the whole episode which had started with one little tweet about a banal incident had suddenly gone viral on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. The Chinese netizens were already on the job.

“ur story is very famous in China now, it has been reposted for more than 10,000 times on weibo(Chinese Twitter) in one hour.”

What was even more astonishing was that the Chinese social media crowd using Weibo were determined to find out who the man in front of the orange tree was and they would stop at nothing.

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“wish u can find him:).ur story are sooo famous in China that all of my friends have known u and the orange tree guy,lol.”

The orange tree man was soon tracked down

“The guy is from Guangdong province, China, we Chinese are helping you look for him on the Internet lol.”

People were putting a romantic twist on the story which amused Matt no end. It seemed to be the perfect story to match the time of the year, The Spring Festival.

The orange tree guy is found!

Then messages started to appear on Matt’s Twitter account saying that the guy had been tracked down and he too was becoming famous.

“Hey bro! The orange tree brother was found!”

As proof, a photo of Matt’s stolen iPhone was posted. The number was slightly different but it was definitely his phone. It was the orange tree man’s nephew who had spotted all the orange trees. Then a guy from Weibo, called Justin, offered to help Matt get in touch with his new friend

“Hey Matt this is Justin from Weibo. We might have found orange guy in China. And now we are trying to contact with this guy.”

A happy ending?

The guy’s nephew was trying persuade his uncle to set up a Weibo account while Justin asked Matt to do the same. They would then be able to exchange messages, at last!

Matt’s first message was:

“Hello everyone! Thank you so much for helping me to find my phone and Bro Orange! This has been such a great journey and only possible because of all of you. It’s a dream of mine to visit China and hopefully get to see Bro Orange and see your country.”

There are thousands and thousands of messages on Matt’s thread and the story has really become viral in that 30 million people in China have read about it! Matt himself is on Weibo’s trending topics.

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Apart from the fame, the best news of all, is that Bro Orange has now extended an invitation to Matt to come and visit him in China:

“Matt, you are welcome to come to our country and we welcome you to our guest house big Meizhou and enjoy our family out-of Hakka cuisine.”

Matt is now setting up his trip and is amazed at the generous offers from the Chinese citizens offering their services as guides and translators. It will be interesting to see how it all works out. Watch this space!

Featured photo credit: iPhone again/ Kenny Louie via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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