Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Online Social Networks

I sent this to Dr. Maram Meccawy regarding an article she wrote about the negative effects of online social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and others. Enjoy!

"Dear Dr. Maram,

Thanks again for your article on the negative effects of the now ubiquitous online social networks (Facebook, Twitter…etc.). I agree with all of your arguments and wanted to share some of my thoughts which I did not find in your article.

What worries me is that the “addicts” (heavy users of these “social networks”, especially teens) are actually growing extremely unsocial with people around them. They spend hours and hours on these networks and hardly spend time with their families or friends. This is paradoxical to say the least. These social networks are causing more harm than benefit. Old and recent research confirmed that people who are obsessed with social networks suffer from loneliness and social isolation. Some cases committed suicide. Kids stopped being kids. They’re being deprived from their childhood and parents seem to be too busy to realize this.

This is only a continuation of the events that started 15 year ago. In the mid 90s, kids time was hijacked by satellite TV and computer games (PlayStation and others). By the beginning of the new millennium, the mighty “internet” conquered the kids domain, and everyone else for that matter. The internet started spreading through the Kingdom and with it came the early versions of social networks (forums, bulletin boards, and communities). Then, in the past few years, the “improved” and much more sophisticated online social networks surfaced. What’s next?

Well, the “smartphone” pandemic is next. Despite being in the market for over ten years, the “smartphone” fad is only now starting to spread like fire. You can hardly find a house in Saudi Arabia where not at least one of the members owns a Windows Phone, an iPhone, a Blackberry, or an Android. Everyone, his cousin, and their housemaids have smart phones. You see them everywhere. In shopping malls, traffic lights, parks, meetings, social gatherings…etc.

Now, there is nothing wrong with owning a better phone, but a lot is wrong with the way we sometimes use these gadgets. Kids and adults are busy thumbing with their smart phones, eyes frozen on screen, and occasionally smirking. They do that for hours. Some do it while driving. Fingers have never moved so fast and have never maneuvered so eloquently. I so wish these finger tips were used to build machines and new products.

People hardly talk to their kids let alone to other adults. These things are changing the way we live. We need to intervene. We need to lure people to use the internet and other gadgets in a very healthy and productive way.

Thanks a million for your time. Please keep writing. " END

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Authoritative Wisdom

  • Have you ever been in a meeting, where your boss suggested something stupid and all attendees took turns in praising the suggestion and thanking God for the wisdom of the boss?
  • Have you ever wondered why people adapt the boss’s rationale to all issues and render all other plausible explanations as abhorrently ridiculous?
  • Have you ever wondered why the boss is always right?
Well, the boss believes everything he says or does is wise. This illusion stems out from the fact that subordinates rarely show dissent. Possible reasons are:
  1. They see the boss as a powerful authority figure. Disagreeing with him might jeopardize their career path or might put them in immediate trouble.
  2. They actually agree with the boss, because, (they assume) he must have studied his decision carefully and evaluated all options before coming to any conclusion.
  3. It was a committee’s recommendation!!

The above is a classical example of “Authoritative Wisdom”. I am not sure if it is a term or not. I’ve seen one reference to something similar in an old book. Anyway, a friend of mine coined it and it is now the property of “Wesam’s Holdings”. Look at your company and think of how many bad decisions were made today and were solely caused by AW. Employees in Saudi Companies rarely express differing opinions and succumb to agreeing with the boss. They move wherever the wind blows; a classical example of “windsock employee”.
On the same token, bosses often prefer to use teams and committees to support their “wise” decisions. The intent is for everyone to see the committee’s recommendations as an unbiased third party opinion and give the required legal form to the whole change. However, everybody and his cousin know that these teams and committees were already notified of the “desired” recommendations.
It’s something inherent in our culture, not religion. There is nothing wrong with expressing your point of view as long as you do it in a respectful manner. Start using the term and spread the word.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Moses and the Israeli

In a Palestinian Rep’s Speech at the United Nations the following took place:

The Palestinian Rep stated "Before I begin my speech, I want to tell you something about Moses. When he struck the rock and he brought forth water, he thought to himself ‘What a good opportuniIty to have a bath!’”

So he removed his clothes, put them aside on the rocks, and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to get dressed, his clothes had vanished.

‘Maybe an Israeli had stolen them,’ Moses thought.

The Israeli representative jumped up furiously and shouted “What are you talking about!? The Israeli’s werent there then…”

The Palestinian representative smiled and said “….. and now that we have made it clear, allow me to begin my speech ….”

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Should Women Drive Cars in Saudi Arabia NOW

I am not against women driving cars in Saudi Arabia. I am all for it, but it should not be done until the public is ready. As we speak, the public is weary of anything involving women rights or wrongs. For those women not wanting to wait and asking for their right to drive now, I say they should go ahead and drive. Let them be the punching bag and pave the way for those who were wise enough to wait. Let them get harrassed by teens and the unemployed.

Instead, what we should do now, is to prepare the public gradually. We should make sure, free time for youth is spent properly. Special venues should be added to take care of this extra spare time. Cinemas should be back. "for families only" places need to be looked at again. Awareness sessions in schools and communities could help as well.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Problem Solving Skills

It really works..Let's see how good you are with math. Please visit the below link and let me how good you do..It was really fun and it Got Me!!!



No...It's not misspelled.."Menaigment" is the saudi corporate term for "Management"..It is the generation of Corporate Management who knows nothing about anything in Saudi companies...They lack basic management and leadership skills. They don't really know what is going on around them. They rose to power either because they have connections or they bribed their way up the corporate ladder. "fluency in english" is their litmus test for all employees. If you're english is perfect, then they would worship you and list you as one of the high potentials. Nevermind the other competencies..who cares about these trivial competencies..only losers do..we're winners..
Now, where do you find "Menaigers"? Good examples can be seen in Saudi Aramco, SABIC and others..
If you work in these companies try and spot a "Menaiger"? If you cannot, chances are you are a "Menaiger" or you're in bed with "Menaigement".

Monday, November 12, 2007

In Search for Spiritual Satisfaction

I am not sure why people are continousely searching for new ways, terms, and ideas to get in touch with their "spiritual" being. There are so many consultants "spiritual" fads nowadays that is beyond belief. Examples are "the secret: the law of attraction", "the power of intention", "the power of silence", "the source" and on and on and on.....What people need is religion, and Islam is the best there is. All the books I read and the seminars I "happen" to attend regarding these issues are so optimistic and speak of so many invisible things...things that we could not see, but for one reason or another the consultants could...

Is it really so hard to realize. Go for Islam. visit www.islamway.com and www.islamtoday.com