Monthly Archives: January 2014

AIBC’s Super Bowl Poll

Everybody’s a Comedian

Have you ever noticed there’s always that friend that fancies himself/herself a comedian?    People can be so eager to be today’s funny man/woman that he or she may do it at the expense of being insensitive to others’ real and raw emotions.   I used to be that friend.  I have always reveled in the inappropriate and love the shock factor, but have since learned knowing your audience and use of appropriate timing is of utmost importance.  I’m not talking about comedic timing, either.  I have actually isolated friends by being insensitive at the worst of times for them and I have serious regrets.  Fortunately, I learned those hard lessons before social media came into existence.  You see, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites can really suck.  Especially when your want-to-be comedian friends seem to make perfect strangers hate them by expressing their would-be humor all over YOUR wall.  As a friend to all parties involved, this can put you in a very uncomfortable position.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your friendships.

The first step is realizing not everything should be funny.  Sure, this is your way of coping with awkward or uncomfortable situations, but sometimes your humor doesn’t remotely translate and will backfire terribly.  And sometimes there are moments when humor should be excluded altogether.

Don’t be desperate for attention; it’s not about you.  Yes, your intentions may be to cheer a friend up and make them laugh,  but sometimes when people reach out they are in need of compassion.  Making a joke or providing humor can undermine a serious message.  And quite possibly, you may come across as an attention hound.

Additionally, remember that you may know your friend very well, but you don’t know your friend’s friends.  What your friend may take lightly because they know and accept your sense of humor may be highly upsetting to their friends.  You never know what battles or demons people are fighting and to make an off color joke about depression, divorce, etc. is just in poor taste.

Finally, if you post something and everyone completely ignores you – or worse, crickets ensue because you’ve completely killed the thread then it might be okay to just go ahead and delete your comment and let the thread owner know.

We all feel a touch more bold about what we share on our friends’ pages because we don’t know their friends personally.  To avoid offending people I have always chosen my words carefully on Facebook.  Sometimes people drop profanity or worse things on my Facebook statuses because they are sheltered from ever knowing the people they’ve offended, but I am the one stuck dealing with that backlash or upset from an aunt or former teacher.  We add people on Facebook because we actually like them as friends, but that shouldn’t mean we have to justify peoples’ behaviors to prove they are decent human beings to the friends they insult.  Think before you post and don’t put your friends in that position to explain you aren’t really as callous as you came across.

It’s really a simple concept, actually.  If you wouldn’t proclaim it on a street corner then don’t proclaim it on your friends’ statuses.  Save those funnies for intimate one-on-one conversations.  This way you can really enjoy the look of amusement/shock/whatever on your (real life and not just Facebook) friend’s face.

No trolling here,

Shelly

#internettroll #Facebook #theresarightandwrongtimetobefunny

How I Became the World’s Oldest One Direction Fan

I am, and always have been that mom. You know her – the one who joins every social media site her daughter belongs to…the one who makes sure she gets to know every single friend her child has… not out of an attempt to smother her (although it could definitely be a side effect), but out of an attempt to protect her from the dangers that abound out there on the big, bad world wide web.

With that in mind, understand that for the most part, neither of my kids give me much to worry about – but I see a lot within the realm of monitoring their activities.  My youngest loves one of the most notorious websites on the internet:  ask.fm.  Googling information about the site will lead you to one grizzly article after another about how teens use the anonymity the site offers to bully each other into suicides.

Since I am that mother, you have probably already figured out that I sit on refresh looking for the first glimmer of that kind of animosity to be directed against one of my kids.

But, young celebrities also frequent the site, including the five boys in One Direction.  My fifteen year old is beyond obsessed with those boys and she has cried more than one time if one of them “likes” a picture or answers one of her questions.  But, after contemplating what I would have done if ask.fm had existed in 1988 when I was fifteen and Duran Duran had been on it, I grudgingly allowed her to stay on the site.

But this past weekend, the One Direction boys began to befriend some of their fans.  One has even been giving surprise phone calls to hopeful teens all over the world.  The fans who were singled out became targets for the rest of the ask.fm community.  Names were called, mud was slung, and hearts were broken.  Jealousy is an ugly motivator.

The kids in One Direction know the golden rule - If you can't say something nice then....shhhh!

The kids in One Direction know the golden rule:
If you can’t say something nice then….shhhh!

My kid might argue with my logic, but I am SO THANKFUL those boys didn’t publicly acknowledge her.

So here’s where my newfound fandom comes in — I know, I know, it took a long time to get here:  After children began to express hurt, desires to cut themselves and death wishes, the young men of One Direction (with surprising maturity and compassion considering they’re just kids themselves) not only supported the kids who were being attacked — not only condemned that kind of behavior within the confines of their fandom — but created an ask.fm account entitled @weallcare where fans and band members can try to offer a compassionate ear and support system to each other.

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At nineteen/twenty/whatever years old, I seriously doubt I’d have put that much thought into what I could do to help others.  But, when we see a society of Justin Biebers egging houses and drinking sizzurp (The Biebs was arrested for a DUI this morning, in case you didn’t know), it’s nice to know that there are still decent role models out there.  So, this mom’s a fan…tattoos and piercings be damned.

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Faith in humanity:  restored

Love,

One Direction’s Oldest Fan

P.S.

  1. if you or someone you know is contemplating (or who you suspect/shows signs of) suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at:  1-800-273-8255 or go to www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
  2. Social media and teens are a dangerous mix.  Educate yourself for the betterment of your child.

#onedirection
#ask.fm

Ten Ways to Lose a Friend

This is one of those What NOT To-Do Lists.  Unless, of course you want to have your oldest friends get fed up enough to send you straight to voicemail every time you call.

So, here is the AIBC Top Ten for how to lose a friend:

10.   Ignore the text messages that your bestie sends by not opening them so it looks like you haven’t “READ” them.  For days.

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9.  Make plans for dinner with your friend.  Cancel.  Reschedule.  Cancel again.  Via text message.

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8.  Decline an invitation to a girl’s night at the movies by saying you have a migraine.  Post photos on Facebook of the game night you attended instead.

7.  Never initiate.  Let her rearrange her schedule and invite you to concerts, plays, dinners, and sporting events without returning the favor.  Every girl wants a side-kick!

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6.  Bring your new boyfriend, your mom, your neighbor, your parents (whoever happens to be in your general vicinity) when your bestie calls and asks you to meet her for drinks because she had a horrible day.

5.  Text your friend to say that you are dreading the coffee date plans you made for Wednesday.  Realize that she is the one you have coffee date plans with on Wednesday.

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4.  Call on your highly successful college suitemate to be a sponsor for the charity event you are currently planning.  You know she will say yes because she sends you an email to support her cross country bike ride every year even though you have never donated.

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3.  Ignore milestones even when you realize you are a day (or week) late.  Birthdays, anniversaries, buying a house, relatives passing away — you can’t spare a minute to send a quick message apologizing and making plans to talk soon.

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2.  You finally made it.  You are presenting in front of several hundred people and your friend pre-unwrapped a whole bag of cough drops in order to sit in the front row and smile and start your standing ovation.  Two weeks later it’s her turn, and the date has been on your calendar for months.  Forget that you have plans and declare on Facebook that Thursday night kicks off your long weekend consisting of sweatpants, alone time, and wine on the couch.

1.  Your friend scores sweet seats to an outdoor concert you have been dying to see and offers to sell you one.  Drive to the venue in the rain, sit in the car for fifteen minutes, and then decide you are going to sit-out the opening act to see if the rain lets up.  Text after half an hour that you decided to go home.  Leave your friend there to find a ride home.  Never pay her for the concert ticket because you didn’t use it.

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Want to ditch the person who has been there for you through break-ups and hung around during the “new phase” of your rebounds?  Dying to lose the pal who texts you to see how you are doing when you call in sick and brings you soup if you have the sniffles?  Need to cut the cord with the BFF that knows your Starbucks order without asking and drops everything to help you kick out your loser boyfriend while nursing her own hangover?

Just stick to the list above.  You should be well on your way.

 

AIBC Team Member Zenkitty

#shesjustnotthatintoyou
#BFFmyass
#amibeingcatty

The NFL gets catty: Manning vs. Brady

Has the world of NFL football gone catty?

ELSA / GETTY IMAGES AND CHARLIE RIEDEL / AP

It’s not surprising that today’s AFC Championship game will find two of the most accomplished quarterbacks in the NFL going head to head for the 15th time – the third time in the AFC Championship game – as the Denver Broncos take on the New England Patriots.

While both men show professionalism on the field and share a genuine respect for the sport, their teams, their fellow team mates, members of the league and each other, many fans and reporters are left wanting more in this historic rivalry.

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In a recent poll taken by the Public Policy Polling fans were asked to state which NFL quarterbacks were their favorite and least favorite. Tom Brady made both lists. Brady tied for second favorite QB in the league behind Peyton Manning, but he also finished first on the least favorite list.

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Peyton earned the lowest percentage of votes in the “least liked” quarterback category of the same poll. Notice what the Boston CBS affiliate focused on in their coverage of the poll? Drama. Are they being catty?

Both Manning and Brady have broken a record or two in their NFL careers. While Peyton holds a record four NFL MVP awards and has superior career passing and touchdown records, Brady has won more post season games and holds three Super Bowl titles to Manning’s one.  Not a single person could deny that their talent is superior to most and that both quarterbacks have true passion for the game, have perfected their craft, and have a work ethic to prove it.

But perhaps, the loathing or jealousy runs amuck when you compare the two off the field and in their personal lives. Manning is known to be very private, protecting his wife and twins from the spotlight. Manning who lends himself to goofy commercials that show his comedic nature could be said to be an “Average Joe” or “Everyman’s Man.” He’s polite and charitable and comes from a family bestowed in deep Southern roots and values.

Brady, on the other hand, is married to the highest paid supermodel in the world, Gisele Bundchen. (In fact, her paycheck makes Tom’s look miniscule.) Brady’s chiseled looks are plastered on the covers of GQ magazine and advertisements such as Movado, Smartwater and Uggs Boots, leaving him looking like an elitist snob.  After all, he is married to an outspoken supermodel whose body bounced back after two pregnancies before she arose from the delivery table. (As a woman, what’s not to hate about that?)  But Tom is a happy guy; he loves his life.  Why shouldn’t he?

Do you think that there’s a possibility that people love to hate based on a perception of perfection?

We we want to know who you dislike more? Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, or maybe Gisele Bundchen? I know who I would pick.

Wait, am I being catty?!

– AIBC Team Member, Krissi

#tombrady
#peytonmanning
#amibeingcatty

Referenced articles:

The first step to failure is setting a goal

Are we afraid to fail or are we afraid of everyone knowing we failed? With the age of social media, it’s so easy to shout from the rooftop that you’re motivated about accomplishing a new goal. But the admission of defeat is equally as public. 

New Year’s resolutions. Going back to school. Quitting smoking. Writing a book. Committing yourself to running a 5K when you’re the proverbial couch potato.

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Why is that when we need support the most, we’re afraid to reach out? We’re hesitant to put it on the line and let the world that we have set a goal and we’re fired up.

I’ll tell you why. It’s not because we’re afraid to fail so much. It’s because we’re afraid of other people seeing our failure. We’re worried that our friends, family, coworkers, those close to us are going to be witness to our failure, shake their finger, roll their eyes, laugh and remind us again of our other failed goals.

What’s worse is that those concerns are usually coming from our own inner  catty voice.

Trying Is The First Step Towards Failure Homer

I had a friend who publicly announced they were giving up tobacco for their 2014 resolution. We all know that quitting smoking is hard. I’ve heard it takes a typical person an average of seven tries before they’re able to quit for good. After dozens of supportive messages on Facebook and in person, the cold turkey attempt hasn’t quite worked for her. While the initial announcement received a lot of fanfare, I was disappointed that my friend didn’t ask for support around the time of relapse, when she needed it the most. Was she worried what people would think or say to her? Or worse, behind her back?

Personally, I feel like I’ve become the family joke lately. My head is going in so many directions of things I want to accomplish, do and learn, that many of my so-called “projects” remain unfinished. I’m like a squirrel in the middle of a metal sculpture park. And because of my recent history, I’ve been hesitant to admit my new goals.

Can you imagine the look on my husband’s face when I mention that I’m interested in organizing a charity event? Presumably working on it between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m.? This project may fail before it even gets started. But I’m going slow, organizing a plan before I reveal my next “big idea,” and counting on the support of people who love me.

I am in the mindset that attempting to do great things often leads to great failures. But every now and then, you may actually accomplish something great.

What do you do, share your goals immediately or do you wait until you know you can accomplish them before letting everyone know?

CattyLiz

#fearoffailure
#fearofboredom

Keep it classy, internets…or at least keep it hilarious and confident.

It is an unfortunate reality that “fatshaming” has become a phenomenon that requires its own name and hashtag.  NinjaKitty recently blogged about Alyssa Milano’s super classy response to fatshaming here.

The internet’s newest celebrity fatshaming target is Gabourey Sidibe.  At Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards Gabourey wore this shimmering cream colored gown:

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And the twitter trolls went straight for the jugular with tweets like this one:

But this is where Gabourey Sidibe swoops in with the tweet of the century:

Seriously, Gabby just won the internet.  Way to keep it classy AND hilarious Ms. Sidibe.  And that my friends is how it’s done.  

Peace and Love,

Ashley

#gaboureysidibe  #keepitclassy