Thursday, February 25, 2010

FA: Facebook Anonymous

"Hello, my name is Heather and I am addicted to Facebook."

"Hi Heather."

In years past, I have given up many different things for lent: swearing, drinking, biting my nails, cracking my knuckles, T.V., and pop -- just to name a few. But this year, I was trying to think of something that would be REALLY hard.

Let me rewind, there might be some people who are unfamiliar with Lent and how Catholics participate in Lent. First, Lent is the 40 days before Easter. The 40 days are representative of the 40 days Jesus retreated to the wilderness and fasted for 40 days -- it was at this time he was also tempted by the devil; and Jesus overcame the 3 temptations the devil proposed. Some people also might not know Mardi Gras is a celebration that starts after the Epiphany (January 6th - celebration of when the 3 kings visited baby Jesus) and ends on Fat Tuesday. To go further, Fat Tuesday is the last day before Lent/Ash Wednesday -- when you will fast and pay penance for your sins for 40 days...

Disclaimer: I don't consider myself to be a devout Catholic, nor even a good one for that matter. I haven't gone to confession since high school and I don't believe ALL the teachings in the Bible. I guess you could say I am a "pick and choose" Catholic. Not that I need to bore you with my belief system. I think y'all can believe whatever you want and do whatever you want as long as you are a good person and try to be the best example of humanity out there. K, nuff said. Ok, now that we have come full circle and we have had a little theology for the day, back to Facebook and why I gave it up for Lent.

I have found over the past year I have become ummm how do you say... totally addicted to Facebook?! Seriously people! I am obsessed with checking my Facebook. I think about it when I am at work! I want to get a smart phone so I can check it when I am away from a computer! I feel out of touch when I don't check-in at least 3 times a day! Obsessed.

The sad thing is, I know I am not alone. I will excuse the people who promote their business via social media: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. To be honest, if it weren't for me and my "friends" the folks who promote their businesses on Facebook wouldn't have an audience. Supply and demand. So that brings me to the steps of Facebook recovery...

1. I have admitted I am powerless over Facebook.

2. I vow not to even type in my browser.

3. I will start connecting with my friends the old fashion way--e-mailing via my 4 email accounts.

4. I promise to use the extra time I have productively--blogging.

5. I will "officially" work while I am AT work.

6. I will convey my thoughts in complete sentences, rather than finishing said sentences with dangling participles. (Note to self: Wikipedia dangling participles)

7. I will stop overusing exclamation marks and question marks in correspondence.

8. I will stop thinking status updates are the definition of a person.

9. I will avoid expressing shock and amazement when someone tells me they don't have a Facebook account.

10. After completing the above nine steps...I will have completely prepared to enlist the help of my dear friend Pinky and embark on my epic journey of TAKING OVER THE WORLD!

After all is said and done, the first 8 days haven't been that bad. I thought I would be missing out on all this awesome stuff and all my friends would desert me, but none of that has happened--so far. Well actually, I almost missed out on an awesome girls night, but thanks to the power of hotmail I was saved :) Whew. Close one. We will see how I am doing in a couple weeks, but so far so good.

I will leave you with one random thing I experienced today. You know you are a Chattanoogian when you hear this on your morning commute and you know what they are talking about: "There is a big 18 wheeler turned over by the space ship house on Signal. So there is slow going for them folks this morning." The local country radio station must be trying out a new traffic guy...try to imagine this with a super thick Southern accent. Made me smile. is for sale.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Love Algorithm

Je t'aime - Ich liebe Dich - Te amo -Aloha wau ia 'oe

This weekend is full of love. It may be a Hallmark holiday, but that does not stop the millions maybe billions (seriously there are over 8.3 million people in NY, NY alone) of people who will buy cards, flowers, dinner, or a special gift for the 1 person they love the MOST.

Is that what it is all about? To be validated? If I get a gift on Valentine's day, that means there is someone in this crazy world who loves ME more than they love anyone else out there. Maybe it is a day for validation and not merely fabricated by industry. Or maybe it is deeper than that.

When I was younger I thought women were the only ones who wanted to be in a relationship. All the relationships I had ever been in, the guys seemed less interested in me than I did in them. I prided myself on being a great girlfriend. I was empathetic, smart, cute, funny (or so I thought ;-)), and above all was behind them 100%--sometimes blindly. But it never worked out. As I have gotten older, my view of what a good relationship is has changed. Thank God.

Maybe the guys I dated in my youth were interested in me as much as I was in them, but weren't interested in companionship. My mom always said "Boys are a little behind girls..." I thought that was a nice way of saying,"They are just not that into you honey, so move on." The patience a teenage or 20-something woman has to have is incredible. Not that I am saying to all the young gals out there, "Be patient chica, that dirt bag who treats you like a doormat...he will come around." No way. There really are some guys that are just not that into you. Sometimes, young women get a plan in their heads and don't have the patience to change that plan. They get stuck in the middle of a relationship with expectations and thoughts of how it is supposed to be; and then don't know how to change it without a) breaking up b) nagging or c) turning into a doormat. I think it is really simple. Respect. If you can respect yourself then you can respect your partner. In turn, he will respect you AND the relationship.

It could be some super duper complicated algorithm for love, maybe not...maybe it is as simple as love. Maybe we should save our money this weekend and say "I love you" AND mean it.

Fun "love" facts:
  • Other mammals that mate for life--Gibbon apes, wolves, termites, coyotes, barn owls, beavers, bald eagles, golden eagles, condors, swans, brolga cranes, French angel fish, sand-hill cranes, pigeons, prions (a seabird), red-tailed hawks, angler fish, ospreys, prairie voles (a rodent), black vultures, and some primates
  • Geoffrey Chaucer invented the modern day concept of Valentine's Day and is not directly related to the Catholic saint, St. Valentine
  • In 2009, Nikola Matovic and Kristina Reinhart of Germany established the record for the longest kiss-- 32:07:14 hrs.
  • National Retail Federation (NRF) for 2010 predicted total holiday spending for Valentine's Day will reach 14.1 billion dollars

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Idiocracy -- WTF?

At work we have launched our new web-site. So many cool things are there, in addition to us merely advertising our company, we are showcasing Twitter, blogs, job postings...just to name a few. Everyone in the company is supposed to write a blog entry for the company. (Don't you worry; I put one up for the chopping block) Some have been advertising related, some not. The guidelines we were given was it can be as personal as you want/or as comfortable with; and for it to somehow relate to advertising in one way or another. Slightly vague, I agree. Some interesting topics have been discussed. Everything from punk rock to Tennessee football to advertising using e-mail blasts. There was one entry that surprised me a little. Not the content of the blog, but a very simple phrase or rather an acronym, was printed that got me to thinking. WTF. Yup, you read right. WTF. I was really surprised that a corporate blog would allow someone to express themselves by writing WTF.

Andy and I got to talking and what we used to think of as taboo has become the norm. You hear of things like Barbara Eden not being able to show her belly button on national TV in "I Dream of Jeannie," but that was so archaic, right?

During the 80s and 90s things really did start "pushing the envelope." Things started losing their punch. And then with the addition of reality TV...well it is life, right? Rhetorical question. Consequently, things have started getting more "edgy." The desensitization of our society is extremely prolific, to say the least.

I am all for using hip jargon to express ourselves. My favorite word to use is bijigity. Personally, I am not even sure it is a word. I can't even find it in Urban Dictionary! But when I find something or someone that is being bijigity I say it. Also, I love saying, "wicked" if something is really bad a$! cool. But using WTF in a corporate blog? I think there is a time and place for everything. We need to be selective where and how we express our casual selves. If not, then we could evolve into this...

Granted, not the best movie in the world. By no means will Luke Wilson ever win an Oscar for his work in "Idiocracy", but it really got me thinking...are we destined to be a society of idiots if we continue to use text language and slang as our only way of expressing ourselves?

Please everyone, I beg you...listen to NPR at least 1 day a week. If not for me--for the children!