Melissa Hughes en Lifestyle, Healthy Living, Human Resources Professionals Founder and Principal • The Andrick Group 11/11/2016 · 2 min de lectura · +800

Block. Unfriend. Mute.

Block. Unfriend. Mute.

Stunning. Astonishing. Unbelievable. These are just a few of the words which were used to describe Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton this week. A few other words I’ve heard a lot this week are divided, divisive, and hatred. Out of curiosity, I did a Google search for “divided nation” and found more than 2 million hits.

Without question, this has been an emotional week. Trump supporters are happy about the outcome – some are publicly gloating. Others describe feeling a sense of mourning. But I think the majority of us are feeling anxious, nervous, and even fearful. Not because our team lost, but because of what this election has done to us as a people. Social media has become a playground for bullies, evangelists, and right-fighters as hateful memes, vitriolic arguments, and emotional rants pervade.

Block. Unfriend. Mute.

According to Facebook, on November 8, 115.3 million people on Facebook worldwide generated 716.3 million likes, posts, comments and shares related to the election. In a study conducted by Monmouth University in September, 7% of voters reported having lost or ended an online friendship because of this year's presidential race. Social media analysts predict that percentage quadrupled on November 9.

Block. Unfriend. Mute.

I made no judgments. I have experienced it, too. This election isn’t a party issue for me. It is a values issue. I’ve had difficult conversations with friends and family members, and that realization that people I thought I knew simply didn’t share my values was a difficult one to accept. As I scroll through my feed and see posts from friends I barely recognize anymore, I have to remind myself that I have the choice to just keep on scrolling. If I had a nickel for every comment I've typed and deleted...

Block. Unfriend. Mute.

Intellectually, I know that the human brain is wired to connect with other people.

Intellectually, I know that stress, anxiety, and fear increase cortisol and inhibit cognitive function.

Intellectually, I know that sharing a connection with another human being – in person or virtually – produces oxytocin which actually enhances cognitive function.

Intellectually, I know that emotions are powerful drivers of behavior.

Block. Unfriend. Mute.

From a coping perspective, we have a choice. We can choose to perpetuate the divisiveness and increase the stress, anger, and fear, or we can choose to surround ourselves with people with whom we feel a connection. The choice you make will flood your brain with either oxytocin or cortisol and both are contagious. We all have the choice to block, unfriend, and mute those who we no longer wish to interact with for whatever reason. Just remember to replace that disconnection with a new healthy connection.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to work really hard to keep the oxytocin flowing by focusing more on the healthy connections I have than the negative stuff that floods my brain with cortisol. I'm going to look for reasons to laugh, be grateful, and be positive. I invite you to join me.

Peace out.

Block. Unfriend. Mute. Dr. Melissa Hughes is the President and Founder of The Andrick Group and the author of Happy Hour with Einstein. She specializes in growing our capacity to learn as well as employee engagement, effective communication strategies, and the unique dynamics of the multi-generational workforce. Having worked with learners from the classroom to the boardroom, Melissa incorporates brain-based research, humor, and practical strategies to improve the way we think, learn, communicate and collaborate.



Melissa Hughes 14/11/2016 · #10

#8 @Brian McKenzie, respectfully, I think there is a big difference between connecting with others on a human level and crossing the line into sexual harassment. The brain is wired to connect with other people; the way we choose to connect is completely up to each of us. I think the key is two-fold: understanding that need to belong and connect and then appropriately acknowledging that need with the people in our lives. Just my humble opinion....

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Melissa Hughes 14/11/2016 · #9

@Aurorasa Sima, I think many people are torn. Personally, I had to step away from social media all together this weekend. I just unplugged and gave myself a mental break. Obviously, I'm back today and I feel better and more resolved to stand up for my convictions without perpetuating the hatefulness that I detest. I'm looking at it as another personal growth goal, and when emotions run high, it's often hard to stay focused on those goals. But, I'm a work in progress... and this is an important one. I would like to believe that enough of us are strong enough to make things different. Thank you for the read and for sharing your thoughts. Best to you as you work through it yourself. #6

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Brian McKenzie 12/11/2016 · #8

Touch, hug, and cuddle your way right into a sexual harassment suit. Shit, depending on how you say it and to whom you say it ( or who overhears it ), "Good morning" will land you in the HR hot seat.

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Brian McKenzie 12/11/2016 · #7

Block. Unfriend. Mute - tis why I left the country when Obama was re-elected in 2012, tis why I have spent nearly everyday since improving my Russian and building connections this side of the world. I sold, donated or burned whatever I could not take on a plane and cleared the boards of any notion of Yankee Doodle Dandies. Had Hillary won, I would have surrendered the US Passport and citizenship - resolute to never darken the Hemisphere again.

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Aurorasa Sima 12/11/2016 · #6

First of all: I loved your article and how you take a stand without dissing anyone.

I am torn. Yes, personally, I disconnect, mute and block. But part of the problem we are facing comes from exclusiveness and not addressing the fears of people. I lived in my little positive bubble, connected to positive people and I did not see what was coming.

The scary thing is how memory works. The last holocaust victims are dying and the whole situation and how it started is not that present anymore. "that´s a different situation". Well, as I recall it this is exactly how it started.

Maybe the right thing to do is reaching out. Not saying I personally possess the greatness to do so.

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Melissa Hughes 11/11/2016 · #5

"Those filters are harder to control when your community becomes thousands ... and your passion is just some letters on a screen or a 15 second clip or an emoji." So true, @Paul Frank Gilbert. It's so easy to lash out and forget or disregard basic rules of engagement and respect when you're sitting behind the computer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! #3

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Mohammed A. Jawad 11/11/2016 · #4

#3 Strange are the ways of virtual world. We make and mar ties with binding tokens and trifling subjects!

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Paul Frank Gilbert 11/11/2016 · #3

The realities of our real world and digital world communities are a fascinating look into humans and our true social abilities. Are we actually capable of creating true friendships solely online and what is an online friend and how does it differ from a friend you have in person? To me the answer here is simple if you care about someone enough you will work things out ... if not ... you go your own ways taking with you perhaps some fond memories and experience. In a real world community it is not uncommon for there to be rules like "not politics or religion at the dinner table". Those filters are harder to control when your community becomes thousands ... and your passion is just some letters on a screen or a 15 second clip or an emoji. Unfriend me and we never really knew each other well enough to be considered "friends". Block me and perhaps I was too demanding or I was guilty of bringing the real world into your digital world and ruining your escape ... mute me ... well unmute me when my topic has changed enough that you feel comfortable that our relationship will survive and I will recognize you value the potential.

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