Helping Prevent Suicide

Suicide sucks. One way or another we know someone who ended his own life. They may be a family member, a relative, a friend, a co-worker,  or even a celebrity. Suicide is far worse than someone dying from an accident because it takes the lives of people close to us when in fact there could have been someone who could have done something to delay if not totally prevent it. People who die of suicide are those who needed support of someone. Someone who could have talked them out of the situation, someone with a clear state of mind who could have made them realize that life if far more precious than they think. Back in the days, lack of access to suicide hotlines or a close friend who is willing to listen and give advice would often be one of the causes of people ending their own life in such tragic manner.

The good news is that nowadays we have something powerful on our side. The social media. With its broad reach, such network of like-minded people ready to support a particular cause could positively impact or even save someone’s life. So when I read on Facebook about #22pushups for #22kill, as US-based campaign, I just know that this is something I can contribute to. I shunned the ice bucket challenge that went viral years ago but I recently heard that it wasn’t just all about the hype as it actually resulted to more awareness on ALS and for its research and support to progress. This is the same hope that #22pushups for #22kill aims to achieve. Clearly it isn’t the solution but it is worth the shot. So on a Sunday afternoon while Marcus’ cousins invade the house, I retreated in his red room and made my own 22 push ups. I ended with a flared nose but I am just happy to be part of it. As of this writing, the site’s counter is at 8 million push ups over the 22 million goal so make yours count now.

 

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (First time to see the form, need to go deeper.)

Do you know your Facebook likes?

Image from Google

This week the Zuckerberg finally announced that Facebook users will soon see the button that most, if not everyone, have been waiting for: the Dislike button. I’m one of those who waited, prayed even, so it’s really about time. Once implemented, the new button may be a game changer, it may become a cause for alarm, irrational paranoia and even result to shattered friendship. Just imagine seeing a notification: Anne Nonimous and 9 of your friends dislike your post. Boom. There goes your day, there goes the start of the end. You now find that unfollow button or, worse, you decide to click the ultimate option. Your Facebook account is now ten friends lighter.

But before you burn bridges just because someone disliked one—or more—post you just placed on Facebook, you must try to understand first if the existing Like button is indeed one that shows sincere like. So let’s see some reasons your friend liked your post.

The true like. It is good to know that the world still has people who does not resent your happiness—even in its simplest form, your success and even your daily selfies. Normally, these are your true friends and they are not necessarily your family members or relatives.

The peer pressure like. This happens when someone realizes everyone seems to have liked your post except him. The fear of being ousted from your circle of close friends now takes over and thus he lifts his heavy finger, with heavy heart, and clicks the like button anyhow. Usually this like is followed by a smirk and a raised eyebrow.

The reconnaissance like. Ok, that’s a long word so we’ll call it the spy like. Remember the quote ‘tell me who your friends are…’? This is what we should watch out for as this is normally employed by parents, girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse who would like to know more about your activities by looking into what your friends say on your post. If you are not aware of it yet, whoever likes your post would be also notified if someone replied to it which means that it will be an open book to everyone who liked the original post. Be ready to be judged by those who use this as an espionage tool.

The clumsy fingers like. Sometimes our fingers would do the walking on its own and would accidentally hit the like button sending an embarrassing notification that you have just liked something you are not supposed to. This may also be referred to as drunken like and should be avoided at all cost. Once your religious mother calls you unexpectedly, then check your timeline if you have clicked on an adult site.

The request-to-like like. My pet peeve. This is similar to peer pressure like but this one comes from specific individuals like a friend whose child joined a popularity contest no matter how undeserving; a colleague who are now into networking and expects you to be a downline; a boss who wants to connect through Facebook.

So by now you must be already aware that even the seemingly harmless Facebook Like button could actually have one or more meaning behind it. Trust me, it is not always a likeable like. Now with the introduction of the Dislike button a new challenge is presented–reading between the lines will become more difficult and subjective. But look at the bright side, who knows, the friends who disliked your post may have good intentions for doing so and may after all those whom you really need to keep.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Sick but with a document to be signed.)

When “How Are You?” Is Good Enough

Social manners, Avoid faux pas, Reunions

Image from Flickr Creative Commons by Life Life Happy

Whenever I meet old friends I make sure that I learn something new. Be it an update about people we once knew or an idea that could inspire me. The most recent was over shots of Johnnie Walker Double Black which was an affirmation of one of the things of I have been pondering along.

Reunions, whether with relatives, friends or old acquaintances, are exciting but it is that initial greeting that could determine how it will end up. Out of excitement, people can get tactless especially when meeting those whom they meet for the first time after a long time. There is always the risk that even well-meaning questions could be received wrongly so it pays to show some sensitivity or social manners.

Days before Christmas, it was timely exposed on social media the resentment that many people have over the casual “Uy, tumaba ka (Hey, you’ve gained weight)” greeting which is so common in most gatherings—if it is a Filipino thing, I honestly don’t know. Its intent may just be to start small talks but such seemingly harmless statement could easily alienate another person and cap the night off even before the party has begun.

This is when a simple “how are you?” comes appropriate to avoid that faux pas. Like what I have learned in customer service, establishing rapport is very important at the onset of a call or an interaction. It is when confidence of the other person is gained and success of the transaction is determined. It is therefore a big mistake to assume that the other party will welcome when you throw them personal questions like “Where is your wife”, “Where do you work” or “What is your job position now”. It pays to watch out for signs like body languages and facial expressions that would tell if the receiving party is just as excited to interact with you. Take the cue from there.

Later I will be attending a regular gathering, the last one before Marcus and I fly back to Manila tonight. While I know that I have packed some pounds over five days of vacation, but for fun I still wish I have that “Kayo rin po, tita, tumaba!” shirt.

Happy New Year! Hope 2015 will be a better one.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Excited to see wifey and mittens.)

What is Intel Culture?

My tweet got favorited and it deserves a spot on this blog:

Jobs at Intel favorited your Tweet
23 Nov:

[CrisIs73] Where only the paranoid survive? “@JobsatIntel: “What do you think Intel’s organizational culture is like? #intelculture
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Not an ordinary Sunday: Someone dropping by later to buy my 3-year old treadmill, Pacman vs. Rios fight, and wifey’s about to be discharged from the hospital. Something in me wishes that she gets out after the boxing match–the room’s got cable TV.

Motivation Be Here

The craziest month, I can recall so far, in parenting has passed and since then I have wished to get back to writing beside wanting to make August a good one, if not better, for the three of us. But my blog ideas seem to have gone down the drain along with my patience in July. (If there is such thing as writer’s block, I believe that parent’s block do exist.)

Yet then again, experience tells me that I will recover, albeit slow. I know that all it takes is some push, some motivation, and of course, some good behavior from Marcus. And so this morning, Twitter gave me that light bulb–dim but nevertheless one that I need to fill a void on my blog site–in the form of an interesting Venn diagram.

The truth is…(Photo taken from the web.)

The Venn diagram above which I saw on my timeline sparked two things. Firstly, the truth that the likelihood of one’s idea to be derived from others is so high. Case in point, me. Thank you social media.

Secondly, and shamelessly, that I can do my own Venn diagram. Well, indulge me. Blame pork. Thanks but no thanks politics.

Congress’ million-peso motivation is my blog post motivation.

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Often times I have been tempted to write my opinions on politics. I have posted some before but the restraints I need to do so that I avoid the temptation of swearing at some people aren’t worth the effort. Maybe someday but right now I need to conserve my energy–for parenting.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Skipped running. Will surely skip badminton. Will attend a kid’s birthday party.)

The Big Boss Viewed My Blog

Some of us have probably read by now a number of articles about bosses, recruiters, or interviewers who are now using social media footprints to learn more about an employee or an applicant. But how many of us know someone who has experienced this, or, more awkwardly, see their own blog being opened right in front of them, in a cubicle, by their own boss. Guess what, it happened to me.

In my attempt to participate in other company activities I applied to be a part of a group involved in employee engagement. One of the qualifications is for one to be creative and during the interview I mentioned that I can write and in fact I have a blog. And as if under hypnosis, I soon found myself staring at our manager’s desktop as he types marcuscanblog.com on his internet browser’s URL address field.  For the very first time, I was browsing my blog site alongside someone whose impression of it could make or break my quest to be part of a new challenge. Well, I’ll know soon.

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After the interview, I tried to recall if my current blog still contains posts that are relevant to the call center industry as I accidentally wiped out years worth of blog posts just last year. Thanks to Feedfabrik I was able to save more than a thousand pages of post since I started in 2006. And as I approach my second year in the industry, I will try to re-post those under the call center tag so please do drop by every now and then to read my archives. Yes, including you boss.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Laundry’s drying, done running–again, and now channel surfing. Will see wifey and Marcus later.)

Why Our Son Will Soon Be on Facebook

Do you know that creating a Facebook account for your young child is actually a good thing? Yes, that is what I have realized after reading the article 10 Ways to Future Proof Your Child. According to this Wired Magazine’s online article, opening a Facebook account as early as now prevents someone from creating a fraudulent account with your child’s name which could be used for malicious purposes. And by signing up on behalf of their child also gives parents a head start to place the appropriate filters and security settings, making the account safe and clean and ready to be used when their child starts to beg for his (or her) first Facebook access. All these with the assumption that good parenting has been established and that Zuckerberg’s site is still preferred over Google+ 5-10 years from now.

But the tip I like the most from this article is about getting a child his own domain name. It made me feel maintaining and paying a minimal fee for this blog site justified despite not being able to update it as often as I wished to. Although our son’s online activities nowadays involve frequenting iTune’s App Store in his hunt for games, his recent interest in writing/typing his own name with which his current favorite hero’s name is also attached is encouraging enough. I would love to see the day when our son becomes a contributor to the content of this blog and if ever that happens, watch out for the blog post author named Marcusben10. Oh before I forget, please like his own updates on facebook, just in case.

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Mood: 5/10 Honks! (Trying hard to get rid of writer’s block.)