The Off Button

How was Mother’s day? I hope as you guys tweeted, took pictures, shared pictures, you really made that day count.

My friend, Pepper, observed a family who just…couldn’t find an Off Button. I’ll let his message speak for itself.

As the Thai telco ad pointed out, sometimes you have to disconnect to connect.

An Open Letter to the Family in Italliani’s

Dear Family in Italliani’s,

Yesterday, I was dining with my family at Italliani’s Greenbelt when I saw you. It was Mother’s Day, and almost everyone, your family included, was with their moms.

The point of celebrating Mother’s Day was to make the mothers of the family feel special, all warm and fuzzy inside, and for the family to show their gratitude¬†to the woman who brought them into this world.

Yes, you were with your mom. You were with the maternal head of the family, a woman whose face showed wisdom and experience. You were with your lola. You were also with laptops, iPads, and Galaxy Tabs, and let’s not forget your iPhones and your Android devices, all of which were turned on and placed on the table. And what was lola doing? Sitting in silence and forking slowly at her salad.

Family at Italliani’s, I would have understood if you were trying to contact some relative abroad through Facebook, Skype, or Facetime. That would have made your grandmother smile. But Tetris Battle? Bejeweled? Please. You should be ashamed of yourself, not only for making this old lady feel out of place on her holiday, but for also being so rude as to use so many devices in a restaurant. This wasn’t Starbucks. You were NOT in a coffee shop, idling away and just trying to kill time. You were in a restaurant, having lunch with your lola… on Mother’s Day.

Family in Italliani’s, you deserve a high five. On the face. With a steel chair.

With much annoyance,


What the Facts Say: A Sampling of Online Advocacy Behavior

What one ‘likes’ or ‘heart’ on tumblr reveals a lot about a person.

Some loose observations based on ‘Face the Facts‘ likes and trends:

-It is true: it helps to have a major blogger or figure vouch for your blog. The surge in popularity of Face the Facts would not be possible without the help of Carlos Celdran, who very kindly retweeted the url.

-A good chunk of its initial followers are Filipino teens, about as young as 15 or 16 years old. They tend to like or reblog the sex myths. Before parents freak out at how young they are, I think it’s a telling sign on what parents and even schools should be telling their kids. Be glad that the kids found the blog, imagine if they ended up in an unmoderated chatroom instead.

-A sad fact I was forced to face: the greater disasters will not be reblogged. A post on a local maternity hospital where it’s 3 patients to a bed went largely ignored, while a post on the poor talking about the RH bill ends up on tumblr radar. The post on RH Bill not being passed this year got as few as 3 hearts and only 1 reblog. This is a more interesting finding: generalizations have some kind of impact. It’s fine if you’re talking about the poor, but it’s another entirely if you have details on how it directly affects them. One is easier to digest than the other. Consider this article which touches on the point: What motivates people to give to charity by the authors of ‘Freakonomics’.

As for the dead reaction on the RH Bill dying – I wonder if it’s largely due to that newsbit overshadowed by the fuss on Gloria Arroyo’s medical treatment. Or have we simply given up?

What do you think?

The World in Pixies: Life without facebook

I am now easing into a new life as a digital copywriter for a major advertising agency. As I like telling people, “What else do you do with someone who wastes a lot of time online?”

But well, it’s still an office.¬† I settle in and find out that facebook is banned on most of office’s premises. It poses new challenges, and new frustrations to this vocation. I mean, we do facebook pages with limited access to facebook.

For the first few days, as I was given the grace of waiting for a job order. I was baffled on what to do with my time. The “sparklies” of tumblr can be blinding after awhile, the overabundance of pictures and posts make it the digital equivalent of pixie sticks.

On the other end of the spectrum is G+, but with limited users, there’s only so much you can take in from the chronicles of the social media wars.

Yes, there is twitter, and in this event: thank god for twitter brand accounts, up until they post a facebook link.

So-called “free time” has become my nerd time. I caught up on online reading in between pages of the copy workbook.

Anyway, other sites you can use, rather than waste time on:

Trendhunter – Think of it as social-anthropological tumblr. It’s a crowdsource determining what’s buzzing in real life and online, with some very interesting results.

Mashable – The news source for tech, social media, and more.

Blogherald – More news, and compelling editorials on consumer behavior online.

I realize that while I am a copywriter at heart, I am also nurturing an inner semi-frustrated digital planner. That’s what I get for socializing better online than in real life.

And of course, I get my dose of features on music, art, etc at Salon and The Rumpus. If I feel a little silly, I check in at Cracked or McSweeney’s.

If there’s anything to thank the great facebook ban for, it’s for reminding me that there’s a life outside of facebook. WWW still applies, it’s a world wide web after all.