Facebook Takes Up About As Much Of Our Time As Grooming & Chores

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American Facebook members spend an average of 40 minutes per day on the social network — about as much time as Americans devote to household chores and personal grooming.

Mark Zuckerberg shared the statistic on Facebook usage during an earnings call Wednesday, and qualified it by saying he still sees ample room for growth. Some might balk at the notion that Americans pass about as much time peering at each other on the social network as we do on habits like showering — we average 42 minutes of grooming per day during the week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the Facebook CEO pointed out that Americans spend a full nine hours each day engaging with all forms of digital media, and hinted he hopes to claim a larger share.

A Facebook-sponsored survey of American smartphone owners released last year found that Facebook members checked the site an average of 14 times per day, and spent nearly 33 minutes on it. The study also found that Facebook was only the third most popular online activity, behind email and browsing the web.

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*Originally posted on the Huffington Post.

When Did The Word “BITCH” Become So Casual?

“HEY BITCH!” When’s the last time you heard someone greet a woman this way? Or how about “Stop your bitchin’!” when someone is complaining about something? You may have even heard the expression “Traffic was a bitch”. I can’t stand any of these expressions, but I hear them all too often. To me this is just an indication that society has become accustomed to using bad words as part of everyday conversation.

When did the use of this word get to be so casual? Have we become so desensitized to the point that this word is now considered “normal”? Why do people think that it’s okay to use a word that originated as a term for a female dog to describe a human being? And, for a woman at that? How does one even relate to the other? Do women really embody the traits of a female dog? I understand using this word at the height of a heated argument (not that it’s okay but I do understand), but why use it to say hello (“Hey bitch!”)? I can think of about a million other expressions to use, for instance:

  • What’s up?
  • Hey!
  • Hi
  • What’s happening?!
  • Howdy
  • What’s shakin’?
  • How’s it going?
  • Greetings
  • Salutations
  • Hello

The list goes on & on. I can also think of other ways to complain about traffic, but I won’t go there. The point is if you want to create a synonym for a word, then pick something that can’t be offensive if used out of context.

Some people might argue that words don’t have power unless you give them power. Words are only words & shouldn’t bother you if they don’t apply to you. Well, I beg to differ. Calling me out of my name is wrong no matter what connotation you put on it. And the notion that you can remove power from a word is laughable. How would you like it if I called your mother ‘stupid’ to her face, as long as I told her that calling her ‘stupid’ really meant that she’s a cool person ? I doubt you would take kindly to me using that word to describe your mother. What if I said your daughter was a whore, but really meant that she was very pretty instead? Hey, as long as you know what I meant it shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Wrong, because no matter how I choose to use that word to describe your child, it’s not very flattering, is it? Words do matter. They can easily be taken out of context no matter who uses them or how they are intended.

Then there’s the argument that women continue to normalize the use of the word “bitch”, so isn’t that just validating its casual use for everyone else? Is it ever okay for women to call each other bitches? When you have a clear understanding of yourself as a woman, isn’t it okay to enforce that across your entire peer group, regardless of gender? But where do we draw the line between becoming offensive and just enjoying ourselves, by saying what may come natural in conversation? Even used as a joke, like “You’re my bitch”, is this a word worth normalizing?

Is it even possible to change the entire characterization of this word from the purpose in which it was intended to something else? Some would argue that if a woman acts like a bitch, then she deserves to be called one. The problem with that word is that it describes a certain set of negative behaviors that is typically correlated with being female. To be mean & manipulative is supposedly inherently female. When a woman is described as a bitch she’s being shrewd, malicious and straight out cruel. When a man is described as a bitch, he is being effeminate in some way by being weak (again, a characteristic associated with being a woman). But that goes back to my original question – how does a woman (or a man) acting a certain way make her similar to a female dog?

At the end of the day, it’s about respect. Maybe to you that word is no big deal, but to someone else it could be and may even be hurtful (imagine that, being compared to animal). I’m just waiting for the day when dropping an F-bomb is as just as common as any other word we use today. That’ll be a cold f*%^ing day, bitch.

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Solange, What Were You Thinking?!

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In case you haven’t heard, Solange Knowles (Beyonce’s little sister) just got married last weekend in New Orleans. Her new husband (she has been married before) is Alan Ferguson, an award-winning music video director. They’ve been spotted publicly since 2008 and seem to have a lot in common. They look like a lovely couple but the worst part of it all is that she is in her 20’s and he is in his 50’s. He is 23 years older than she is.

Solange, sweetie what were you thinking?! Why on earth would you marry someone who is old enough to be your dad and is only slightly younger than your own mother?! You are in the prime of your life & have so much growing to do. Although you are more mature than most, you are still young yet & don’t know what you don’t know. Yes, you have been married before. Yes, you are someone’s mother. And yes, you have seen the world & are a self-made woman. But none of this has prepared you to be the wife of 51-year old.

You are still coming into your own & still figuring out what this thing called life is really about. Someone in their 50’s has done & seen it all. Even if you did initiate the courtship when you first met and even if you are in love with this man now, what kind of future will you have together? Why would you choose to be with someone who has such a vastly different outlook on life, one that can only come with age & experience – both of which you have not. You have so much growing to do, Solange.

Let’s not forget that you have a 10-year old son. You are essentially subjecting him to someone who is old enough to be his grandfather. Will you have other children? Do you anticipate raising another child (or children) and taking care of your husband as he ages in another 10-20 years? Why subject you and your children to dealing with all of that when you are such a young lady yourself? How will this impact them? Marrying an older man is one thing, but marrying a much older man is another.

One has to wonder what a 51 year-old man has in common with a 28-year old woman. Do you enjoy each other’s company? Definitely. Do you have the same taste in music? Sure. Do you share political views? Probably. But how can he share the same goals or the same vision for a family when he has already outlived more than half of his life and you are just beginning yours? Because of your age difference, you should be in two totally different places in life.

I think it’s great that you’ve found love. But are you sure it’s love? Are you sure it’s not merely adoration or admiration for someone so much older, accomplished and esteemed? Are you sure he’s not with you for your youthful spirit, your confidence or your beauty and not for a long-term future?

Solange, congratulations on your nuptials. I hope that your marriage is as solid as the faith you put into it.

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