Where Facebook falters ..

Facebook has revolutionized the way we communicate, but not without limitations. According to research, social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are great at two things. They help us keep in touch with existing friends. Secondly, they allow us to reintegrate our networks so that, rather than having several disconnected subsets of friends, we can build one virtual community.

The research by Robin Dunbar who is a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Oxford shows that making new friends require considerable emotional investment and face-to-face interaction. He says, “emotional closeness declines by around 15 percent a year in the absence of face-to-face contact, so that in five years someone can go from being an intimate acquaintance to the most distant outer layer of your friends”.

The idea of Spotluch is to make people meet in person. In that respect, Spotlunch is a nice compliment to existing social networks.

The new formula for power networking – Make new friends through Spotlunch and keep in touch with them through Facebook.

Rx for excellence

If you are looking for a definite pathway to excellence, here is one that would work for kids and executives alike. Select, Connect, Play, Grapple and Grow and then Shine. This is what Edward M. Hallowell, a chid psychiatrist, prescribes in a recent Harvard Business Review article.

In summary, Select means finding the right job that suits your interests and skills. It is a common sense approach but a few people are able to do this.

Connect is the next step, which is plugging into the larger community and tapping into the power of other people.

Play is imaginatively involving oneself in the work. The goal is reaching a state in which a person is so caught up in what she’s doing that she loses self-consciousness.

Grapple and Grow involves tackling the challenges and successfully overcoming them. Every time you work hard to solve a difficult problem, you increase your mental performance.

Finally, you need to appease the reward center of the brain. Shine is about making sure that good work is appreciated.

At Spotlunch, we have a vested interest in the ‘connect’ aspect of this pathway.

As Hallowell says “.. positive connection in business is slipping away. Colleagues often work in different cities, countries, and continents, and, thanks to technology, even those working in the same building may not speak face-to-face for months or years. At the same time, the recent economic crisis has created a climate of fear, anxiety, and mistrust. As a result, disengagement, one of the chief causes of underachievement and depression, is on the rise, and that can have big personal implications.”

It is clear that positive connections at work and interaction with colleagues increase productivity and engagement.

Enabling more and more face-to-face interaction is our goal. We believe this will help individuals reduce stress and reach excellence in their professional and personal lives.