How a Relationship Dies

Russell Clayton, a doctoral student at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, who surveyed two hundred and five Facebook users about relationship conflicts related to Facebook. “Our study found that excessive Facebook users are more likely to connect or reconnect with other Facebook users, including previous partners, which may lead to emotional and physical cheating,” Clayton said, according toScienceDaily. He went on, “Facebook may be a threat to relationships that are not fully matured.”

via “How a relationship Dies” — The New Yorker

When trust and security  two of — if not the most — important factors in a lasting, healthy relationship, excessive Facbooking (basically creeping on people’s profiles and photos) can be detrimental. But we are so used to mindless stalking, it doesn’t really register.

I was in a long distance relationship for a while and I agree, it’s really difficult, near impossible not to be jealous when the underlying trust isn’t built yet. A lot of his activity would pour into my feed and his LIKEs of photos of random girls and flirty comments he would leave started bothering me.  The worst, was when I started questioning myself for being bothered by his actions. So I unfriended him.

That said, although I’m well beyond my teenage years, I use the Internet and social networks like one. I constantly have several apps open, have several group chats, one-on-one texting sessions going while browsing Twitter and Instagram so I’m probably biased to the above opinion of this one Russell Clayton. Plus, I have experienced it first-hand.

Ah, social networks — or more like, no more long distance relationships for me. Either way, I learned something about myself and in the end, that’s all that matters.


Twitter and Facebook

I don’t know what happened but since I moved to Tokyo, I’m bored of Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong, I still keep up with everyone’s lives but reacting with a comment, at reply, LIKE or favorite is no longer fun for me.

I only use Twitter now to get information (ex: latest news, find funny things, see what’s going on in the world outside of Japan / APAC, etc.) when before I used to give information as well. And Facebook? There are times I don’t log-on for days, when before I used to be glued to my newsfeed.

Perhaps I’m simply over social networks, especially since I started blogging on my own domains. (if you’re interested, I have a blog about my life in Tokyo here). I’m also blogging a lot more here, which I guess is a good thing?

Maybe I’m just weird — someone even told me on Facebook that I’m “backwards”, when I announced I started a Tokyo blog haha

Oh, Pinterest. What a bummer.

Update: four months later, content marketing is on its way to take off
As marketers fight to engage with users [and] readers in a noisy, competitive world, marketers have all become publishers,” — Jed Hartman, group publisher of Time Inc. news and business, with oversight for Fortune via “Fortune will sell original editorial content to advertisers for up to $1 million”, AdAge

Day two after reading this and I am still confused. With the brand equity Pinterest has, they certainly could have been more creative at their first attempt to get closer to brands.

Pinterest is a goldmine for brands and advertisers.

  • 80% are women, 50% have kids and likely to live in a Midwestern state (read: Walmart demo = cha-ching)
  • Pinterest users who shop online follow 9.3 retailers while FB users follow 6.9% retailers and Twitter users follow 8.5%
  • CTA pin sees an 80% increase in engagement
  • Referrals spend 70% more money, also spend 10% more

The astounding stats go on and on…but they chose Business Pages and widgets?

I mean. Really?

From a brand perspective, what is the value proposition of having another business page to maintain? Business pages aren’t billboards on the Internet. Internet users expect more and paying Pinterest to add to workflows with sentiment, reputation and click-throughs as the ROI is backwards. And don’t get me started on widgets. What is this, 2001? Moving forward, major brands are becoming publishers, media companies, moving away from traditional ad models.

Pinterest is rich with content. If products like Pulse, the joke of the tech circle Mashable is experimenting and even brands like Coke and Nike can figure out content strategy to drive revenue, I’d assume the very smart people at Pinterest should be able to, too. Oh, well.

What a huge bummer.
(Top image screen shot of AdAge article found here)

Postcard Project

Old fashioned handwritten letters never go out of style, and I don’t send mail as often as I would like. So I came up with the postcard project, where I choose ten Internet friends to send postcards to. Ten is my threshold to manage expectations — any more and it will feel like a chore, I think. I plan to make this a monthly tradition because it’s always nice to bring happiness to mailboxes, not just inboxes.

This month (April) is already cap’d, but if you would like a postcard, please email your snail mail addresses to monamail at gmail dot com. International are welcome as well. Happy Sunday, everyone!

Sidenote: why aren’t there more tasteful postcards? The fonts are atrocious and the photos, even more so. It took a while to find some decent postcards. I purchased them at Barnes and Noble in Union Square of all places and I looked everywhere from gift shops to local letterpress and stationary stores.

Dear Google Account Activity: I LOVE YOU

If you’ve ever wondered how many emails you’ve sent or received. How many Google searches you’ve done and even what you searched for, Google now gives users a high level overview.

I have no idea why I’m searching for autotune (nor do I remember the context) but it made me laugh out loud. It’s also pretty neat to see who I email the most. How I need to respond to emails more lol…and basically how I can improve with email management. Perhaps I should stop obsessing over maintaining inbox zero. I am so anal retentive about inbox zero, I’ve spent a lot of time customizing, labeling, filtering and still get 5k emails I barely respond to. Less than 1%, which means I need a new workflow. Crap.

See? I’m already learning and growing.

Anyway, this is incredible and the first feature I’ve been excited for in a long long loooong time. If you’re interested, the bigger image of my analytics (not including YouTube is below). You can read about the dashboard on Google’s blog here. And opt-in for the service here.

*Added: as always, the discussions happen on Twitter, Google+ and FB.

I Got a Kindle and I’m Eating My Words. Crap.

(image via Instagram)

Back in 2008 I told myself I wouldn’t invest in an eReader.
Fast forward three years and I am eating my words.

But I can’t help it. The Kindle was a gift.

…ok. Fine. That’s a lie.

I invested in a Nook during the summer and kept mum about my purchase because I have been so vocal about anti-eReaders for so long. But I hadn’t picked up a book in three-four years. My face is always in my iPhone, browsing the Internet, while people in the city would whip out their Kindles or Nooks, even if it was reading one or two pages. I would observe, feel a pang of jealousy and put my face back in my phone.

I tried carrying a book around but it just didn’t work. It wasn’t happening. I knew it was time to give into the eReader world.

So I researched. Read reviews. Compared book catalogs and chose the Nook over the Kindle, for one reason: aesthetics. The book selections between Barnes and Amazon were pretty much the same. The Nook was more elegant – smaller and sleeker – at that time. After only a day of ownership, I was sold. That ugly green-ish tint and all. (There’s a reason it’s that faded spinach green btw. It is really easy on the eyes.) And I must admit, I’ve read more books since August than in the past three years.

I was happy.

Then, the new generation of Kindles came out and the new Kindles looked fantastic. I’ve been pretty much obsessed with owning one since.

This year, Santa came early and someone I adore bought me a Kindle (thank you, btw!) I unwrapped the Kindle and holy smokes, what a difference. The overall quality is just, well, better compared to the Nook. From the look, feel to even the response time, the Kindle blows the Nook out of the water. The standard case with the built in light also trumps any of cases and/or lights available for the Nook.

As for the model, I chose the Touch. Only because color hurts my eyes.
I am in love with the Kindle and for those of you still on the fence: DO IT.
Convert. It will change. your. life.

And if you’ve told people you would never move over to the dark side, don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone. Plus, Kindles are small enough no one would notice you’re carrying one ;)

There are helpful discussions happening on my Facebook here and Google+ here.
If you need reading recommendations, there are heaps of them here and here.

Thanks to all of my friends, acquaintances and even strangers chiming in. I love the Internet!