Tag Archives: Facebook

IMNSHO

I love Opinions.

I love hearing them, expressing them, and debating them. 

I once read an article about leadership that opined (and I’m paraphrasing here) that women fail often because they fail to assert an opinion.  Right or wrong, men take a stand and keep moving.  Women dance around putting a stake in the ground until it’s too late or someone else steps in. 

Now this is a grotesque generalization and every woman worth her weight in testosterone will rally against it.  In practice, however, I’ve seen it bear out more often than I care to. 

Another saying that has always stuck with me is that “NOT making a decision, is a decision.”  It is actively choosing to be passive.  For the life of me, I just cannot BEAR to be PASSIVE!

I know I mortify some.  I’m sure there are more than a few who think I’m a dramatic nutjob.  I have absolutely no doubt that I would have achieved more in my career if I had just kept my big pie-hole shut.

But I can’t.

Never could.

If I listen to that darling, Marcus Buckingham, I really just need to get over this and focus on what I do well. 

But expressing my opinion is something I think I DO do well (don’t say “do do”).  I like being around others who express theirs.  I prefer those whose opinions are at least slightly different to mine or I feel like there’s really no point in talking at all.  I’ve already examined my own thoughts.  If you’ve reached exactly the same conclusions then how absurd of us to sit around congratulating ourselves on how f*cking brilliant we are.  I mean really!

That’s why I love it when Facebook asks me why I click ads closed.  They do a decent job at targeting their “Fan” ads based on what is in my profile but occasionally, they deliver something that is just not my cuppa.  I close the ad, usually to see what else is next, and they respond with a single question:  “Why didn’t you like this ad?” 

This is genius.  Revolutionary!  A complete departure from the maddening, pop-up surveys that have annoyed Internet users for more than a decade with their invasiveness, their soporific length, and their indefinitely post-poned payoff.

Tell me, WHY!?!?!?!?! isn’t ALL advertising accompanied by such simple, impactful inquiries as the Facebook ones?

I want to be able to click on my TV ads and tell them, guess again you idiot spray-and-pray ‘artists’, I am not suffering from Erectile Dysfunction! 

If I see an ad that makes me laugh out loud, I want a QR code in the corner that I can post to my FB and abbreviate from @SCHugarmama to show my other nerdy friends who like advertising how thrilling it can be when someone gets it right.

You know what else?  I want my ads, wherever I am, to recognize me and customize to my lifestage, interests, and purchasing cycle.  Why?  Because as one former boss said, “People don’t hate advertising.  They hate irrelevant advertising.” 

Whether on politics, advertising, or motherhood, I’m not humble or apologetic about my opinions. 

Saying “in my humble opinion” or “IMHO” is a spurious admission.  If you were honestly humble, you wouldn’t bother making a statement in the first place. 

No, I’m not going to participate in your survey.  I’m not going to join a focus group or sign up for your community or even open your email.  And I’ll probably opt-out of said email because you never bothered to ask me how often you’d like me to receive notes from you or if the notes you’re sending are even remotely meeting my expectations.

While I’m at it, I’m also not going to clip your damn coupon and carry it around with me in my already cluttered wallet hoping that I have it with me when and if I need to buy your product.  WHY don’t you just give me a coupon on site?  And what are you thinking with putting expiration dates on them?  (Besides helping our military.)

Could you BE any more demanding? 

I’m the one buying your product… how about a little appreciation?!?

Advertisers think they know us.  They have all manner of opinions about us.  And they’re certainly entitled to them.

Having opinions doesn’t make you an ass… not examining them does.

Stuck in the Middle with You

(This post is modified from a Note I published on Facebook, November 5, 2008)
So you know that commercial for Campbell’s soups with sea salt for flavor instead of heart-ending sodium? It kills me. That actor alone is hilarious to me but the dialogue is genius. “What’s that Taste?” “Taste.” Like the poor guy has gone without taste for so long because of a low-sodium diet he forgot what good food was? I love it.

That’s how I felt two years ago after President Obama was elected.

“What’s this feeling?”

“Pride.”

“I like pride. It makes me proud.”

I haven’t really come to terms with the fact that I was wrong. This country WAS ready to elect a black man (or more accurately a multi-racial man) to the Presidency. I was never so happy to be wrong. The electoral votes showed it to be a landslide victory, but 48MM people voted for the other guy. That left a lot of disappointed people.   Just like in the previous two elections.

My original post read, “Let’s do something. Let’s NOT rub this win in anyone’s face. Let’s NOT gloat or be smug. Instead, let’s follow our new president-elect’s humility and dignity and lead by example, be gracious and inclusive, and find our commonality.”

I had felt disconnected and ashamed for so long that the shock of Obama’s win felt like shrugging off a back-pack. I was lighter and more balanced but perversely, I missed the weight that I’d grown accustomed to. 

Having lived in a (mostly) Red state for the last ten months, I heard an earful of conservative speak, saw more “Jesus Saves” billboards than I could believe, and witnessed protests against healthcare or “Obamacare,” bailouts, and taxes.
I was right about one thing – a large number of people were left disappointed that the Republicans were summarily ousted from the majority of leadership roles in our government.  If I’m to believe the news at all, there is a chance they’ll win back at least some of them in November 2010.
But there seems to be so much anger involved politics right now and the “sides” are growing farther apart every day.  The harsh, disrespectful, violent language is uncivilized at best.  Logic, reason, and compassion have left the building.  What remains seems to be the very worst of human nature on both sides of the proverbial aisle. 
When people who are honored with representing me in my government speak in circular logic and pander blatently to interests not aligned with the good of the country, I feel nauseated.  When they fund war but cancel unemployment, I taste bile.  When did treating the sick become the enemy of the “Good Samaritan” crowd?  When did party loyalty nullify sense and judgement? 
I read that something like 46 states could go bankrupt this year
Our national deficit is so big that I don’t even have words to describe it.
In the midst of the liberals pointing and the conservatives bad-mouthing, accountability has been abandoned completely.

I lack an impressive education or advanced degrees.  I am not independently wealthy.  I don’t rub elbows with anyone in power.  But I have a healthy skepticism that enables me to be unawed by these groups.  It allows me to discern the random nugget of honor and leadership that pops up now and again from the absolute nonsense coming out of their mouths and pens. 

Both sides seem to get more extreme by the day.  Each uses fear and hate to build support.  Neither feels the shame they should for the misleading or aggregiously inaccurate rhetoric they employ. 
I miss that feeling of Pride.  Even though I respect the seal and the man behind it, we are only as good as our weakest link in government or in protest.  And our worst has gotten a lot worse.
Whenever I feel down about the state of the union, this rant by the character Andrew Shepherd in the American President always cheers me up.  Hope you enjoy:
 
“Being President of this country is entirely about character. For the record: yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. But the more important question is why aren’t you, Bob? Now, this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question: Why would a senator, his party’s most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution? If you can answer that question, folks, then you’re smarter than I am, because I didn’t understand it until a few hours ago. America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”. I’ve known Bob Rumson for years, and I’ve been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn’t get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t get it. Bob’s problem is that he can’t sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections.”

Indeed.