Has social media destroyed the very fabric of how society works?

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Digital platforms are recasting the relationships between customers, workers, and employers as the silicon chip’s reach permeates almost everything we do—from buying groceries online to finding a partner on a dating website. As computing power improves dramatically and more and more people around the world participate in the digital economy, we should think carefully about how to devise policies that will allow us to fully exploit the digital revolution’s benefits while minimizing job dislocation (Muhleisen 2015).

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Information and communication technology has changed rapidly over the past 20 years with a key development being the rise of social media.

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The growth of social media is part of the growing digitalization or “technologisation” of social life. Due to globalization and growth of the cyberspace, social interaction is now extended from the temporal or physical space to the cyberspace, from face-to-face interaction to digital interaction through chat, post, video chat, etc.

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Has social media destroyed the very fabric of society?

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Well, it depends on one’s perspective in judging the effects of social media to society. A conflict theory would probably see the birth of the social media as the “colonization” and— yes, the destruction of the current face-to-face or personal interaction. But a functionalist perspective may see it as playing a major function of integrating and connecting people into a small social network or global village.

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The social media can easily connect people from distant lands in a matter of seconds by using the Internet and online networks. This is not possible in the temporal or physical space. Moreover, the social media plays a crucial role in doing business and marketing of goods and services worldwide. Nowadays, business opportunities are done more and more in the cyberspace and social media rather than in the temporal space. Physical stores, for instance, are now gradually being replaced by the cost-efficient online stores. Hiring is also now being done online via the social media LinkedIn and other sites, rather than through the walk-in application process.

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The social media has also challenged the traditional media, such as the print, TV, and broadcast media, because of its interactive nature. Yes, the social media has radically altered the way people communicate and transact business around the globe. But has it destroyed how society works today?

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Well, I would rather see it as expanding and improving the very fabric of society rather than destroying it. Under this process, the old practices are gradually replaced by new ones, and in this sense social media can be considered “destructive”. But in every process of social change, one can’t avoid discarding the old methods by novel ones.

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As the Bible says: “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins” (Mark 2:22).

Reference

Muhleisen, M. (2015). The Long and Short of The Digital Revolution. Retrieved from https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2018/06/impact-of-digital-technology-on-economic-growth/muhleisen.htm.

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New Rules with the Re-Opening of Boracay Island

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World-famous Boracay reopened on Friday six months after it was ordered closed by President Duterte for massive rehabilitation due to years of neglect, overdevelopment, and disregard for environmental laws.

The Boracay Island and its white sand beach were closed to visitors in April after President Duterte called it a “cesspool” tainted by raw sewage flowing from hotels and restaurants straight into the sea.

According to the Department of Philippine Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, the carrying capacity of Boracay should also be limited to 19,215 persons a day and 6,405 tourist arrivals a day. This will be strictly enforced after the re-opening.

The beautiful island of Boracay will be reopening for a “test run” on October 26, 2018, six months after it was closed down for partial rehabilitation. Here are some new rules about the “new” Boracay:

1. No Booking, No Entry

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Tourists are now required to present their hotel booking when they get to the island. A verification booth will be set up in both Caticlan and Kalibo airports where officials will check the hotel bookings of tourists and make sure that they booked with accredited hotels. Department of Tourism has released a list of the 157 hotels that were allowed to be reopened. These hotels are those that have successfully acquired the required permits to operate on the island.

2. Easement 25 meters plus 5 meters.

No structures are allowed 25 meters away from the beach as well as the 5 meters easement in front of resorts and establishments.

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3. Promote Green Buildings

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4. No Casinos

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The government will also ban casino operations, while all water sports save for swimming are also banned for the time being.

5. Follow Ordinances and Environment Laws

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Boracay now has a total of 200 new lifeguards are now ready to serve swimming guests after undergoing intensive training under the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

6. Only Accepts Tourists within the Island’s capacity of 19, 215 at a time or 6,405 tourists a day.

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7. No Big Parties

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8. No Smoking and Drinking

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No smoking and drinking in public areas. You’re still free to drink or smoke in the confines of resorts, however!

9. Ban of Open Fires and Use of Kerosene Gas/Fuel

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From the previous 4 to 5 meters, the whole stretch of the road is now 12 meters-wide with walkway, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary.

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

References

Philippine Star (24 Oct 2018). Infographic: New rules for Boracay reopening. Retrieved from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/10/24/1862824/infographic-new-rules-boracay-reopening.

 

How to Deal with Simple Obsessive Stalking

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Stalking is an indication of an unhealthy love. True love does not pressure the other to reciprocate the attraction and courtship of one’s romantic feelings. People must be aware that stalking can be a manifestation of a social pathology and psychological imbalance of some individuals. Demographically, stalking is a gender-neutral crime, with both male and female perpetrators and victims, but:

  • Most stalkers are men. Best statistics indicate that 75-80% of all stalking cases involve men stalking women.
  • Most stalkers know their victims. 60% are current or former intimate partners.
  • Most tend to fall into the young to middle-aged categories.
  • Most have above-average intelligence.
  • Many stalkers are anti-social, manipulative, deceptive, obsessive-compulsive, and have a history of failed relationships.
  • Stalkers come from every walk of life and every socioeconomic background. Virtually anyone can be a stalker, just as anyone can be a stalking victim [1]

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“Stalkers can be driven by several different reasons, and most have stalked more than one person in their lifetime. Stalkers are obsessed with their victims, and this obsession is expressed in many ways. Some common reasons for this obsession include power, control, and sometimes revenge. Most stalkers don’t take responsibility for their actions and blame others for making them do what they do. Relationship violence perpetrators often stalk their victims during the course of the relationship and especially after the victim leaves the relationships” [2].

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What is Simple Obsession Stalking?

     Simple obsession stalking “represents 70-80 percent (70-80%) of all stalking cases and is distinguished by the fact that some previous personal or romantic relationship existed between the stalker and the victim before the stalking behavior began. Virtually all relationship violence cases involving stalking fall under this rubric, as do casual dating relationships. Simple obsession stalkers exhibit a variety of characteristics, including the desire for extreme control, obsessive behavior, vengeful attitudes, an inability to handle rejection, and an assumption of little or no responsibility for their actions…

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     Once the victim literally becomes the stalker’s primary source of self-esteem, their greatest fear becomes the loss of this person. Their own self-worth is so closely tied to the victim that when they are deprived of that person, they may feel that their own life is without worth. It is exactly this dynamic that makes simple obsession stalkers so dangerous. In the most acute cases, such stalkers will literally stop at nothing to regain their “lost possession” –their partner– and in so doing, regain their lost self-esteem. Rejection often triggers this type of stalking.  Stalkers are the most dangerous when their victims determine to physically remove themselves from the offender’s presence on a permanent basis by leaving the relationship. Indeed, stalking cases which emerge from relationship /dating violence situations constitute the most common and potentially lethal class of stalking cases’ [3].

How to Deal with the Problem

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If stalker manages to make contact with you, say no clearly while avoiding humiliating him. (Don’t engage in dialogue. Pick a statement and keep repeating it. For instance just say “I’m not interested, there is nothing to discuss.”)

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Also, say no without any qualifiers. Stalkers interpret certain phrases or actions as “maybes” or as signs that they’re getting through to you. Do not say “I’m sorry, I’m not interested.” Never include “I’m sorry.” This is interpreted by stalkers as a sign that you have emotions for them, which they will see as a victory, or as a hope of future change… so they will contact you again later!

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To clearly establish that any further contacts are unwanted and will be in violation of your consent, tell them no in front of a witness, or as a last resort, send a succinct certified letter (or have your attorney send a letter).

Then:

* Cease all contact. Stalkers thrive on REACTION, ATTENTION, and ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. Don’t give any of this. Do not be available to him in any way. Behave as though he doesn’t exist. If you let him see you reacting to his actions, he will experience it as his personal power. Don’t do anything that suggests to him that he affects your world or that you notice his behavior. If there are certain types of contact or communication that are necessary or unavoidable (such as for divorce preparations), appoint a go-between (preferably a man) to handle all communication instead of you.

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* Notify friends, family, and your boss that this person is violating your right to peace and privacy, and is interfering with your personal freedoms and quality of life. Ask your peers outright if they will help you in the following manner:  Explain that they must NOT dialogue with the person in any way, regardless of any excuses the stalker may give. Then ask them to promise to notify you ASAP any time that they see or have contact with this person.

* Evaluate your mail delivery. If there’s any way for him to access your mail, start having it delivered elsewhere.

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* Collect information about anti-stalking laws in your state.  Figure out what steps you will need to get him arrested on a stalking charge, and follow those steps.  When you have enough documentation you can get a Restraining Order (Personal Protection Order).  These don’t really stop the stalking; their purpose is more so that you can get a good arrest report and court time when they violate the Order…. [4].

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

References

[1] https://safeconnections.org/who-are-stalkers/

[2] http://www.wgac.colostate.edu/types-of-stalkers

[3] Ibid.

[4] http://www.lilaclane.com/relationships/stalking/

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How to Become a Responsible Tourist

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Introduction

Responsible tourism is all about conformity of the tourist to the local culture, especially to the customs and laws of the host country or place of destination. There are different types of tourism and tourist. But all tourism is a cross-cultural encounter, an interaction between two cultures: the cultural orientation of the tourist and the culture or way of life of the tourist site. Thus, if an American tourist visits the famous Boracay Beach in the Philippines, he or she brings with her/his Western American culture mentality to the Philippines and interacts it with the local Filipino culture of the residents or hosts in Boracay island.

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Now, tourism often brings conflict in terms of cultural norms. Sometimes, tourists would impose consciously or unconsciously her or his cultural expectation and norm orientation to the tourist site and disregard the local norms and rules. For instance, Western tourists may find wearing bikinis in Philippine beaches as normal and culturally appropriate. But for rural folks in the Philippines, wearing this kind of outfit is culturally unacceptable and indecent.

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Cultural conflict is therefore inevitable. Thus, the tourist site or the host country must dictate how should tourists behave to protect the local culture. In this case, it must be the tourist site and authorities of the place who must determine through rules and policies how tourists must behave and become responsible to protect the local culture and attain sustainability of their tourism industry.

Here are some important tips on how the tourist can become responsible when visiting tourist sites:

  1. Orient yourself about the local culture of the place you are visiting. This includes knowing the customs or existing practices of the site. Know some basic rules on respect, decency, and social interaction.

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  1. Know the laws and ordinances of your place of destination before arriving at the area. Dont’s be afraid to ask friends or people who have visited the tourist spot you want to visit. Use the Internet or social media to get a glimpse of the rules.

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  1. Be respectful of the local people and customs of the place you are visiting. Don’t be arrogant and presume that you know many things about the site just because you are highly educated, rich, famous, and coming from a developed country.

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  1. Always remember that to become a responsible tourist means you conform to the norms and expectations of the tourist site and not the other way around. This advice is also good for your protection and safety when visiting tourist spots.

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Enjoy your trip, tour, and vacation! God bless!

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How to Judge Your Partner’s Behavior

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People tend to judge the meaning of an action from the outside, and often fail to see what’s inside of the person’s mind doing the act. Most romantic relationships fail because the jealous partner only sees the social meaning of the external act of the other but not the motive behind it.

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One girlfriend just broke up with her boyfriend when she saw him chatting with a beautiful girl from afar. She interpreted the animated conversation of the two as a form of romantic attraction. Without asking the boyfriend about the girl and what they were talking about, she immediately stopped texting and communicating with him. She eventually broke up with his boyfriend without clarifying with him of what actually happened during that animated encounter with another girl.

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Max Weber, a German sociologist, has a very good advice for people who want to judge the meaning of people’s interaction. He called this approach as “verstehen” or “interpretive understanding”. This concept implies that a person must judge behavior from the actor’s point of view. If one really wants to understand the true meaning of the human action, he or she must put himself/herself into the shoes of the other.

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“Verstehen” implies understanding the social meaning of the person’s external act or the stereotype and the motive behind the act. It requires empathy.  Without learning the motive of the act, the observer would pass rash judgment and misjudge the true significance of the act. The girl could have investigated or probed further on what was really the motive why his boyfriend had an animated conversation with the other girl.

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Many romantic partners and spouses separate because they pass rash judgment, they only know the meaning of their partners’ external acts but fail to understand the real intentions underneath them. Jealously and other forms of negative emotions can sometimes cloud their judgments and forget to probe what actually happened with their partners’ or spouses’  encounters with the significant other.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay.com and Pexels.com

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