New Year’s Resolution

One of my New Year’s Resolution (I have a few) is to “unplug”. It’s great how technology has revolved… like, I bet all our grandparents wouldn’t have ever believed that you could be out and about listening to the radio when the walkman was invented. My kids don’t even know what beepers and walkmans are! (I’m officially old.)

So since my hubby deployed, my daughter and I have turned into relentless couch bums — especially my daughter because she was on winter recess and is very attached to all the TVs in the house. She usually loves playing outside though, so I am grateful about that. She does spend a lot of time outdoors being unconnected from electronics, but at home it’s either the TV or her tablet.

One of the things that people don’t do much of anymore is spend actual time with each other — like, sitting together on the couch streaming Netflix is NOT quality time, sorry (I don’t care what those stupid posts say)! I remember I used to love doing jigsaw puzzles, and I especially remember the toy commercials during the holidays when I was a kid (even the commercials were better back in the day!).

I am sure every generation feels that theirs were the best as a new generation forms; the “good old days” weren’t always so good, but we quickly forget that when the current society seems so overloaded and chaotic. Baby Boomers have JFK, the 60’s, Civil Rights… Generation X had the year 2000, 9/11, the War on Terrorism, and one major f**ked up presidential election in Florida ballots (I still believe Gore would have been president if the Supreme Court hadn’t stopped the recount). Millennials have the iPhone, the cyber world, the first black First Family… and now Generation Z, who are already making their own history with events like the March For Our Lives movement, #metoo, #timesup… and their history is being lived now.

But I digress…

One of the things Ava and I have done a lot lately is play traditional games. We have chess (but I am too serious about chess to play it “just for fun”, although I should teach her how to play it because I can play it all day long); we have checkers (but I don’t care for it much); we have Connect4 (which I’m also not crazy about because I basically used to play tic-tac-toe on a piece of paper in school); we have Clue (which we haven’t even opened yet because it’s like one of the most complicated directions for children to play); and we have Uno, Guess Who?, and Hedbanz.

We play Uno and Guess Who? a lot. Hedbanz is more fun with a group, and we played that with our guests on Christmas Eve. Guess Who? is a great game because only two people can play it, and sometimes it’s hard to play other games that are more fun with a group, so two-player games are always a bonus. During Christmas, I was gifted two Jenga sets (yeah, separate people bought me Jenga, WTF!?! — I am obviously going to re-gift one of them); and I expanded our board games so we’d have traditional fun entertainment.

I bought the Game of Life (the pets edition), Twister (great as a kids’ party game), Pop the Pig, and Candy Land.

Okay, I have to say though, I’m not too crazy about each new version of Life. That game has been around since forever, and has been updated every decade at least. The game (to me) used to be more realistic; now it’s like you’re never in debt (false!), you get to choose a career or college degree first, you get to buy/sell a house, and everyone reaches a mansion or a country ranch during retirement… like, they turned the Game of Life into a Disney princess ending! (Thank God for chess!)

I’m going to model my social media behavior after my hubby, which is essentially nonexistent. Seriously, when we started dating, Dan signed up for all these social media apps because I use them and I wanted to connect with him on them (you know, to do things like tag him on photos, make others envious of our Facebook life, etc.) — trust me when I tell you that most people who are very secure and confident (as well as genuinely successful) almost are never active on social media.

Now I know that sounds hypocritical for me to write, since I’m all over social media — but I’m definitely lacking in security and confidence (and so is Trump, that guy uses Twitter like a teen… he’s in his freaking 70’s, walkmans weren’t even invented yet when he was born!)… again, I digress. I definitely would not be able to unplug 100%, but I could try to cut it down to where I’m not constantly updating my status and scrolling my screen.

I think what I love the most about my husband is that he’s such a private guy. He never posts anything and he never even checks Facebook or messenger; like, I had to tell him to log in so that he would approve all his pending friend requests. I also feel like his lack of social media activity makes him very mature. It shows confidence in himself, because the era of social media is to basically get approval from others. You’re posting because you want others to see your life, hear your thoughts, know what’s going on — it’s the feeling of being wanted by others.

My hubby is a Millennial. By the time he graduated from college, I had already had my first kid; so I find it very rare that a Millennial like him is still so unplugged. He uses his smartphone for texting and emailing, video calls, music, etc.; but he sincerely has no interest in what’s going on in Facebook’s world, or Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. — which is also why I think he’s so focused. I read somewhere that people who aren’t active on social media are actually happier than people who are. I believe it!


It’s Not Me, It’s YOU

Looking back, I felt sorry for her. She felt threatened by me. She wanted me to know of her existence because she felt insecure about me.

In a new relationship and you’re over the moon about the guy? — well, please don’t be like this lunatic my ex ended up with — read my Unwritten article to find out how I realized she was stalking me on social media:

Don’t Be My Ex’s Crazy New Girlfriend

Successful Blogging

So the last time I checked, there is 1,158 followers of my blog (thanks!) — occasionally I will get a personal message from a reader asking how to build up his own followers, I tell them all the same thing, just blog!

Really, I think people are interested in things they can relate to. Building an audience, like anything else, has to sell. There are many Mary Kay and Avon sales reps out there, but only a few are really successful. (I suppose this is where my Marketing experience comes in handy.) To “sell” your blog, you have to give the consumer (the readers) what they’re interested in. TV programming is built around that whole concept. That is really the best way I can describe blogging, compare it to TV programming.

You have the bloggers that write about the news, bloggers that write fiction, recaps, reviews; bloggers that write about traveling or parenting, or cooking bloggers… and then there’s the most common bloggers — the ones that write about their lives; I’d say those are comparable to Reality TV.

Your audience comes with time. You need to constantly blog, even if you don’t have any followers at the moment! You need to promote yourself. Link your blog to your Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube — any site where you have a profile, add your blog on to that profile.

Put pictures. Really, no one wants to read text after text after text. Use categories and tags on your posts; this will help search engines to link your blog when appropriate keywords are being searched for.

My most important advice — don’t take the bait! A perfect example of this is Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona. The owners had an epic online meltdown that has gone viral ten times over! You’ll eventually get the nasty comments, but think of it this way… you ever see a Facebook post where there’s someone commenting on it and they just won’t stop? The person thinks they’re right and feels validated somehow, and actually believe that others will view it the same way — yet, the usual reaction from others viewing the comments is that the person lacks complete self control and sounds like a raving lunatic foaming at the mouth; but if you take that bait and engaged in the same back and forth, you end up looking like the aggressor too.

People who can’t control themselves online, where they have the option to actually think before reacting (I mean, after all, you do have to type it out, and even then you still have to press send!), lack any sort of control in their overall life. Don’t lose control! Don’t be the lunatic — as they say in Hollywood, bad press is better than no press!

These negative comments can actually even boost your audience! Why? Because it generates views. People love to see if you’ll engage in it, if you’ll remove it, delete the comment; if you do reply, what will be your reply; maybe you’ll respond in a few hours, maybe next day, did anyone else reply… all of this curiosity generates views. The more views you get, the higher your ranking goes up on a blog host site’s reading list as “most popular posts”, which change by the minutes. This is usually enough for a reader to take a quick scan of your post and your blog as a whole.

Happy blogging!

Getting “Catfished” …

Everyone knows what a catfish is — it’s a muddy fish found at the bottom of lakes and rivers.  I’m sure there are probably a lot of Chinese regions that have this fish in their cultural cuisine — however, this was not something I’ve ever eaten growing up.  I don’t know if the catfish was just something that wasn’t found floating about in the waters of my parents’ villages in China, or maybe in that region people just didn’t have the acquired taste for it.  No clue.  I, myself, view catfish as a “country” dish.  It looks like a fish patty to me every time I’ve seen it on someone’s plate.  When I think of fish, I think of something with scales — a catfish does not have scales.  For this reason, observant Jews do not eat this fish according to the dietary laws of the Torah.  (I’ve dated a Jewish guy, I know a little about these things!)

Okay, so everyone knows what a catfish is in its literal term, but what is being “catfished”?

There’s been a documentary, which then was turned into a MTV show, and now it’s part of the many stupid terminology listed in urban dictionaries.  Honestly, I thought that term came from the dating site Plenty of Fish (POF).  My whole thought on that was that the site is called Plenty of Fish.  I know there will be people who disagree, but I personally don’t find catfish appealing or desirable when compare to other fishes like tuna or salmon; which is why I think that saying you’ve been catfished is like saying you were expecting wild salmon from Alaska and instead got muddy catfish from some dirty lake.

I’ve been on plenty of dates from POF, and so far I’ve been fortunate enough not to have been catfished.  I don’t dwell too much on looks.  I’m aware of certain physical attributes that I can overlook, like weight.  I think my “success” in this is that women tend to make more fake profiles than men do.  Like a woman would just have a completely fake profile altogether, with pictures of someone they found on Google images; men lie too, but not to the extremities that women do.  Men will usually make themselves taller, give themselves a better job title and description, exaggerate their successes and financial stability (who doesn’t want to make themselves look better?!), but a woman will post a picture of some Victoria’s Secret underwear model and pass it off as herself.  I don’t really find a lot of men that try to pass off pictures of Calvin Klein underwear models as themselves though.

Here’s some (probably unwanted) advice for my fellow online daters out there in cyber world.  I never respond to anyone that seem to have professional pictures up, and by professional I mean if it looks like the person is posing for the catwalk.  Don’t get me wrong, I play around with the different filters on Instagram too, but be wary of someone that looks “picture perfect.” I love selfies!  No, really, I really do love selfies — I love taking selfies and I like selfie pictures… only, not in the bathroom.  I think bathroom selfies are kind of gross, I don’t like seeing anyone’s toilet in the background; but selfies are a good indication of a real photo.  Also, if the photos are a hot guy/gal, but just one photo is blurry or the person is really far away, or that one photo doesn’t really look like the others do… be skeptical.  Another photo suspicion of mine is where all the pictures are group photos.  I’m happy you’re so social and have friends, but it’s a dating site, are you really trying to play Where’s Waldo?

So one thing that I always do if someone messages me and I find him interesting is ask him to add me on Facebook — so that I can basically stalk him online.  Okay, online stalking is really for your own personal safety here, not in a creepy way!  Think about it, you can tell if a Facebook profile is real or not as oppose to other dating/social media sites.  The friends list, does the person have friends that are in common with one another, like coworkers, or friends from the same high school or college, or even the same regional area; or are all his/her friends just random people from like Ohio, Alaska, Italy, China, Spain, Germany, etc. — or do they only have like 5 people on their list?  Photo albums and wall posts are also important.  Timeline, does it only go back to the current year or does it go back a few years?  Mostly, anyone that tells me that they don’t have a Facebook makes me highly suspicious.  I mean, you set up a dating profile, but you don’t have a Facebook? Come on, really?!

Don’t fall for the worm bait!  Happy fishing fellow online daters! ♡