J's Page

Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.


How to Leave Facebook 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Facebook has been the hugest time suck I’ve ever experienced. I haven’t even watched TV in months, I feel like I never have time to do the things I should be doing, and I get antsy if I can’t check it at least a few times a day.
~ Anonymous friend

Have you seen enough cat pictures? Tired of all the privacy leaks? Or do you just want to recoup the time that you lose captivated by people you don’t really even like?

You want to take a Facebook break, but you’re not sure how. A report published Feb. 5 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows 61% of Facebook users have taken a break from using the social networking site at some point. If so many people can take a Facebook break, then why not you?

But leaving Facebook?  Yes, it sounds insane. To hear some folks considering it, the idea of leaving Facebook is akin to leaving Earth. If you can’t bring yourself to deactivate your account right away, you can ease yourself into a Facebook break by limiting your interaction with the site.

A great starting point is the notifications. Do you really want to know when a friend-of-a-friend’s Aunt Lulu comments on a puppy photo you commented on in 2010? You don’t need a text message or email about that. If you look through the notifications, you’ll see that you can live without a lot of them.


Of course, you’ll want to be notified about friend requests, but more important: you want to be notified when you’ve been tagged in a photo or a post. You don’t want the idiot friend who doesn’t follow the What-Stays-In-Vegas Rule to tag you in the pics of the fur bikini mechanical bull riding contest that you won in 2006.

If you want to further limit your Facebook interactions, delete the app from your phone. You’ll be amazed at how freeing this is. No badges, no buzzes. You’ll find your phone is plenty entertaining without it.

After you have limited the notifications and deleted the app, you’ll probably feel like something’s missing — like you’re not wearing pants. That will pass. You’ll soon find a sense of calm and quiet. At this point, you might find deactivating your account isn’t so hard. Try just one week.  At the end of that week, see how you feel. You may be surprised to find you feel relieved.

Why would I feel relieved?

Because you wouldn’t constantly be responding to a website.

Let’s face it: Social media carries an obligation. If we’re logged on, we are required to respond. It’s like if you’re at a party, you’re required to interact. Facebook is a 24/7/365 party. And sometimes you need to leave the party.

That’s not to say that you can never go back. But when you do, you’ll probably have a different perspective about what you share and with whom you’re sharing. This is healthy. We need to revisit how we interact on social media from time to time so that the sites — Facebook, Twitter, Google+ — don’t completely legislate what we share, how we share it and with whom we share. Taking a break from Facebook (or any social media) allows us to step back from the maddening crowd and think for ourselves — without the coercion of an unapologetic algorithm or the noise of a 24/7/365 party.


EARLIER: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook



Toyota Venza girl angry about Triscuits

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. No agencies or products are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
Our heroine from the Toyota Venza commercial can be seen in the new Triscuits commercial.

That’s all I have to say about that right now because I have to go to dinner.

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Like the ad? Show Allyn Rachel the love on her Facebook page.

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RELATED: Toyota Venza Girl plugs eBay


EARLIER: Toyota Venza Girl on Yahoo!


EARLIER: More on the girl in Toyota Venza commercial


EVEN EARLIER: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’


RELATED: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook


And then there were two: Romney vs. Obama

ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in political advertising, search-engine optimization, and viral marketing as it is used on the campaign trail. No candidates or political groups are endorsed. The opinions expressed here about the advertisements are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

The same day Rick Santorum suspends his bid for the GOP nomination, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney has turned his focus on President Obama and Florida — home of the hanging chads and a big, fat pot of 27 electoral votes. It’s also where Obama is in Boca Raton pitching his “Buffett Rule,” a highly disputed proposal that “asks” everyone to pay their “fair share” and really goes after the nation’s highest earners to ensure they pay a higher tax rate than, say, stiffs like you and me. It’s named for gazillionaire Warren Buffett, who was real sad in 2011 about paying a lower effective tax rate on his income, than I do did his secretary.

When Barack Obama is in Florida today, ask him about the forgotten millions.
~ Super-timely Romney ad posted the same day of O’s visit

Almost-gazillionaire Romney is real sad for the folks in Florida, and he wants them to know it come November. Titled “President Obama Has Failed Florida Workers” — is that SEO I smell? — Romney’s one-minute-12-second video was uploaded on YouTube April 10, the day of Obama’s visit. (Wouldn’t you want to run it before he came to town? Give voters some notice?) It isn’t narrated, there are no hokey kitchen-table scenes, but rather, a series of on-screen text blocks with stark facts about Florida’s joblessness, set to an ominous Hans Zimmer-esque soundtrack.

Among the scary factoids that will drive Floridians to the polls to cast their vote for Mitt:

  • 850,000 Floridians out of work
  • The Sunshine State’s 9.4% unemployment rate (the nation’s is 8.2%)
  • “Double-digit minority unemployment” (the ad doesn’t detail the number)
  • “Under Obama, a record 6 million women unemployed” (Really, Script Writer? Really?)

At the time of this writing, the clip had 210 views, 18 likes, 6 dislikes. My day was already terrible enough, so I could not make myself log on to Romney’s Facebook page to see how it was faring there.

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What I know about being off Facebook

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is part of an ongoing series documenting my social experiment as a former Facebook user. The observations and opinions expressed here are mine and do not in any way reflect those of my employers.

I got an email from a friend the other day saying she missed me on Facebook. It’s not the first such email, and it won’t be the last. It has been more than two months since I deactivated my Facebook account — again. And although I don’t miss it —  I do like not being on the world’s largest social network — this time around confirms what I discovered last fall: Being off Facebook makes for some weird real-world situations.

Unlike last time, I just deactivated without a lot of fanfare. This time there were no pleas for me to stay. No questions why. This time I made a clean break: For 24 hours, my status said, “I’ll be back. Promise.” And then I was gone.

After eight-plus weeks, I’ve found plenty of ways to keep busy — and more real-world social weirdness. I told a friend that because I’m not on Facebook that it’s as if I’m persona non grata. I have gotten (what seems to be?) cold shoulders from co-workers and former co-workers because they (might?) think I’ve defriended them. Even worse, I’ve lost a meaningful connection with co-workers and former co-workers whom I actually like — not to mention re-formed bonds with the college friends whom I truly love. Case in point: I’m just now catching up on plans for a 20-year reunion — but I’m not blaming the organizers. Facebook definitely makes it easier to orchestrate such events. If I’m not on Facebook, I have to work that much harder to be included.

But I don’t mind.

When I logged on after the first break, I found that as much as things change, the more they stay the same: I was losing the same 20 minutes every day that I had been losing before I logged off. And it was a precious 20 minutes. I had not deactivated my account because I think I’m too cool for Facebook; I did it to find some lost time because I am too easily distracted by — well, everything. Facebook was a crippling diversion for me at home. Away from work, every minute counts for me. There aren’t enough hours in the day. I needed to eliminate distractions that ate up my free time. Facebook was one of those distractions.

“But do you miss it?” That’s the question I get when I mention I’m a former Facebook user. The answer is no, not really. There are just so many things about Facebook I don’t like, such as its creepy “sharing” initiative or the classic overshares from the Chardonnay Moms or the chain-prayer posts. I have to admit, though, there are some things I miss. As a journalist and marketing/ecommerce student, I miss seeing what the marketers are doing with the brand pages. As a friend, I miss seeing what my friends are doing, how their kids are growing up. I miss seeing what my teenage niece is up to or the beach photos from North Carolina that make me homesick. All of which is more reason for me to make a real-life effort to connect — and to stay logged off.


NEW: Thinking about logging off? Baby steps for the Undecided<


EARLIER: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook


YOU NEED TO KNOW: Mashable on Facebook’s auto-sharing feature


A little something to suck on before Super Tuesday

ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in political advertising, search-engine optimization, and viral marketing as it is used on the campaign trail. No candidates or political groups are endorsed. The opinions expressed here about the advertisements are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
Hold on to your lunch.

Mitt Romney’s camp is trying to instruct Alaskans how to vote in an advertisement that seems to have been inspired by Coldplay. Alaska is one of the 10 states holding contests March 6, the much-anticipated Super Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Rick Santorum wants to be your neighbor in this ad that may feature a sweater vest from the closet of the late-Mr. Rogers. I jest: The sweater is obviously from the Rick Santorum Collection on sale now at J.C. Penney Kmart.


Kidnapped? Romney campaign rethinks Michigan ‘mischief’

ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in political advertising, search-engine optimization, and viral marketing as it is used on the campaign trail. No candidates or political groups are endorsed. The opinions expressed here about the advertisements are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

After Mitt Romney bitched like a little girl about Rick Santorum’s robocalls to Michigan Democrats, his campaign turned around and used CNN footage of Democrats explaining why they were voting for Santorum instead of Romney.


It’s my way of protecting Obama.
~ Off-screen Democratic voter,
CNN footage: Democratic Mischief in Michigan