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I’m grateful for the opportunity to be enrolled in an online class and study again. I’m that kind of person who’s not really keen on having a master’s degree or whatever, so I didn’t think that studying six year after I graduated from college could feel as great as this.

I’m taking up a four-week online course on Social Media for Social Innovation at University for Peace. It is UN-mandated university based in Costa Rica. I just finished the videos, modules, and readings for my Week 1, and I feel like by doing so, I’m helping myself level up. Thank God for this opportunity, and thanks to my employer for supporting my passion and expertise. UPEACE shouldered half of my tuition fee, while my employer sponsored the other half. Visit www.upeace.org for scholarship opportunities!

Sharing with you some of my reflections based on my Week 1 learnings. It’s about how technology is getting in the way of our humanity.

As for me, mediated communication has always been a challenge. One can never really express his/her real emotions through a text, chat, or email. If it is your will to really talk to someone and have a conversation with him/her, then you should go to them, talk over coffee, and do it often. In that way, you can fully express your feelings and thoughts freely, without barriers, without judgments.

I’ve learned this over the years, and thought that using emoticons or smileys or stickers will never be enough to express what you feel. So as the use of too much exclamation points to express your anger, or ellipsis to know that you are thinking. Reading poetry even gives everyone a different interpretation. Face-to-face communication is also imperfect and ineffective at times. 

One can never really be able to communicate effectively unless the two parties have an open mind, understanding, and a good grasp of what you both are going into. We should be open to feedback and receive it positively. We only need to look at things at a different perspective. And it’s upon us how we’ll look at it and respond to it. 

Life doesn’t have to be complicated. But with so many distractions, challenges, barriers around us, we feel like a simple life is boring. We want to have conflict, we want to take risks, we want to veer away from the mainstream. We want to take the less traveled route so that we would look unique, we would look like we’re different, we’re ideal, we’re the only. As we do this, we alienate other people and we become exclusive. 

From there, we disrupt peace. It starts with ourselves. Within us is an internal conflict that only we can fix. If we’re empty or confused on the inside, how much more when we begin talking?

What do you think?

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