What’s the Big Deal with the Chewbacca Mom?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the Chewbacca Mom this past week.

WHAT? You don’t know who she is? Seriously??

Fine. Click HERE to watch the original video.

OK. Are we all ready to move on? Good.

Chewbacca Mom - Candace Payne
Meet Candace Payne, the woman behind the Chewbacca mask who has taken the internet by storm! Last Thursday (May 19th), Candace broadcasted on Facebook Live while sitting in her car in a KOHL’S parking lot. This Star Wars mask made her smile and she wanted to share that moment with others.


And in less than a week, she has:

I mean, she’s a mother of two from Texas who never really did anything with social media before.

So WHY is she such a big deal?

That’s easy. She possesses one simple but very important trait that is unfortunately rare in the social media world lately.


That’s it. Positivity. 

Although we still see the occasional cute kitten videos, many Facebook news feeds have transformed into battlegrounds filled with anger and hate. The seemingly never-ending tensions of the Presidential campaign have brought out such rage and divisiveness that it’s frankly making Facebook less enjoyable. So is it really any surprise that when this extraordinary woman practiced the most ordinary act of sharing JOY, we all jumped at the chance to experience it with her?

During the Good Morning America interview, Robin Roberts asked Candace.
“What’s been the best part of all of this?”

Her reply?
“In all honesty, the best part of all of this is being able to share joy with people…” 

Well said, Candace. Well said.


Chewbacca Mom


Do you feel like you’re drowning in the negativity on Facebook? If so, what can you do right now to spread positivity?




I spent the first half of this week sick in bed with little physical or mental tolerance for well… anything. Between work and personal life, I normally spend a significant amount of time online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But this week? I barely touched it. At the most, I would pick up my phone and open the Facebook app immediately out of habit (Damn that muscle memory!) and quickly close it before I got sucked into the abyss.

I know what you’re thinking. I LOVE social media. It’s my life. How could I, of all people, want to avoid Facebook?

Seriously, people. I get that the future of our nation is important, but can we give it a rest? As of today there are 282 days left until Election Day. I don’t know about you, but I don’t relish the thought of 282 more days of anger, hatred, and pointless Facebook fights.

I mean, social media isn’t just a pastime. It’s my job.

So how am I going to survive this?

Facebook Unfollow

That’s right. If you didn’t already know, Facebook has this really great option called UNFOLLOW.

Don’t want to see anything from that weird cousin who LOVES Trump and his hateful comment of the day?

Have you had your fill of that co-worker who posts ALL of Sarah Palin’s crazed ramblings?

Are you even tired of that friend who shares far too many articles about your own political party?

The point is, your Facebook News Feed is yours. No one else’s. It’s yours.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed by the posts of any friend, no matter how close you may be in real life, then why should you continue to put up with a barrage of posts that bring you stress? Just unfollow those friends.

No, you’re not unfriending them.

No, they won’t get a notification to let them know you have unfollowed them.

You are, however, choosing to take control of what you see when you log in to Facebook. I would venture to guess that none of us log in to Facebook hoping to get mad or frustrated. So why keep letting that happen?

Here’s how to UNFOLLOW from your phone:

If you are already following the friend (which you probably are), simply click the drop down arrow by FOLLOW and select UNFOLLOW.

Click the dropdown arrow in the top right corner of the post.
Select UNFOLLOW (FRIEND NAME). As the prompt says, you’ll stop seeing posts but stay friends.

In any case, you can still see their posts at any time by going directly to their profile and reading at your convenience. All you really do by unfollowing is remove their posts from your News Feed.

Again, your News Feed is yours. Isn’t it time you reclaimed it and made Facebook a happier experience again?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go purge my News Feed of everything about Martin Shkreli. Ugh.

Have you used UNFOLLOW on Facebook?
If YES, what made you do it?
If NO, why not?


Social Media, I Presume

Guest post by Matt Baier, owner of Matt Baier Organizing, team clutter relief.


As a professional organizer, a big part of what I help people with is being more effective in their home offices, but when it comes to being more effective with my social media, I rely on the expertise of Social Media Architect, Brian Bish. I don’t know what’s effective with social media, but I know what’s NOT effective.

What’s not effective is when people get overly presumptuous.

I get so turned off by the serial political posts. You can’t presume that everybody is agreeing with your extremist nonsense, just because only a few people ever challenge you. People generally try to avoid a fight, especially when they’re your friends! It’s presumptuous to confuse silence with agreement. AND it’s not effective. You’re not changing anyone’s minds. In fact, you may be gradually losing friends.

There is, however, no greater example of presumption on Facebook than the “99% don’t care” post. You know the one. It always goes something like this:

SHARE if you will say a prayer for angels to protect bunnys with cancer. Probably only 1% of will share this and the other 99% of you wont. Share if you care.

At the heart of these offerings is always something you do actually care about. Sure, I think bunnies are cute and I hate to think of any living thing suffering with cancer.

Then they have to gussy it up with some other presumptions, like only religious people are capable of caring.

Finally, there’s the pathetic plea for sympathy, like a passive aggressive child. “Most people don’t care and won’t like me, I mean, won’t like bunnies with cancer.”

They presume that if you don’t SHARE their full silly package, they have the right to dismiss you as uncaring.

Here’s how I see the actual breakdown of the responses.

1% clicked SHARE, because they actually accepted the whole premise and didn’t want to appear uncaring

33% love bunnies, but had doubts that sharing on Facebook will help summon angels.

33% love bunnies, but think that sad little efforts like this will make things WORSE for the bunnies-with-cancer cause.

33% love bunnies, but disregard posts with 99% in it, out of hand

Perhaps I’M being presumptuous, but I don’t believe you will see 100% involvement with the “99% don’t care” post until Facebook invents a DISLIKE button.

Am I wrong? Have you ever seen a good cause advanced with the 99%-dont-careapproach?


photo credit: Pippin 2010 via photopin (license)

How We Survived the Blizzard of 2015

Wow! It was a rough night, but we all survived it.

Even the most calm and organized person wasn’t truly prepared for the events that transpired in the wee hours of the morning. We all sat clutching our cell phones in fear as we watched the inevitable happen, and we were powerless to do anything about it. It just happened.

Facebook and Instagram were BOTH down simultaneously for approximately one hour.


Oh yeah. There was a blizzard, too.

But did you miss what I said?

Facebook and Instagram were BOTH down simultaneously for approximately one hour.

I even heard that the popular dating site Tinder was down as well. I mean, it felt like we were seeing the End of Days here, people!

Oh yeah. And there was a snowstorm, too.

But alas, Twitter was up and functioning, so we all had a place to go and vent…

… about Facebook and Twitter being down.

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the night:


TODAY’S QUESTION: Be honest. Were you having a little bit of withdrawal when Facebook and Instagram went down? Or did you even notice?

What are you doing to pass the time as we recover from this storm. No… the real one. With snow and wind? Yeah. That one.



How to Make Facebook a Happier Place in 60 Seconds

Can you believe it? It’s almost Thanksgiving already!

Before you know it, our Facebook news feeds will be flooded with everyone stopping to reflect on things for which they are grateful in their lives. And let’s be honest… after surviving the increased political rantings of the elections earlier this month, won’t it be nice to have something positive to look at?

But don’t worry – it’s not long until Black Friday when all the thankfulness starts to fade away and the unadulterated rage and fury of holiday shopping will restore the anger to Facebook.

Because of the nature of my business, I spend a large portion of my day on various social media sites. And even though we all need to vent sometimes (inconsiderate people who don’t use their turn signals and slow people who clog up self-checkout lines are my biggest pet peeves), sometimes enough is enough! We’ve all got that friend on Facebook who does nothing but complain, right?

Unfriending them seems a bit harsh, especially if they are a good friend who just magically turns into a black hole of emotional need online… but did you know there is an option to still be friends but not see their posts?

It’s the UNFOLLOW feature.


Here’s how to unfollow someone in a few easy steps:

  • Go to the Facebook profile of the offending (or is it offensive?) party.
  • If you are viewing Facebook on the full site (desktop or laptop), look towards the bottom right corner of their cover photo on the top of the profile. There should be a box that says “Following” with a checkmark next to it. Click the dropdown arrow next to Friends. Click this box and the checkmark will go away.


  • If you are viewing Facebook on the mobile app, you will see a Friends icon under their profile picture. (insert screenshot) Click on that and then click Unfollow.



And that’s it! You will still be friends with this negative time-suck on Facebook, but your NewsFeed will be purged of their draining ramblings.

Yeah. You’re welcome.

TODAY’S QUESTION: Have you Unfollowed someone on Facebook yet? If so, what made you do it. If not, what are you waiting for?



Oh, Facebook. Has Messenger Killed Our Relationship?

So Facebook… I think it’s time we had a little talk.

By now you know that I LOVE change. When you changed to the Timeline, I enthusiastically embraced the new format. When you added the ticker that shows my friends every step I take on the desktop version? Sure, I was annoyed. But you’re a free social network; It wasn’t worth complaining.


But now you’re forcing all of your users to get not one, but TWO apps on their smartphones to enjoy the complete Facebook experience? WHY do we need the Facebook Messenger app to see our private messages now? I’m sorry, but this time I just have to say something.


NO! Don’t be fooled by the cute little animal!


I mean, how did that even happen? Who made that pitch at the development meetings?

“Hey guys! You know what would be REALLY cool? You know how Facebook users can currently do everything in one app on their smartphones? What if we made a second app just for messages, and we forced everyone to download this app if they want to see their private messages on their smartphones? Pretty cool, right?”


No. It’s not cool. It’s not cool at all!


You know I love you, Facebook, but let’s be honest. There have been some problems in our relationship. You’re just too nosy!

No. I don’t want you to have access to all of my phone”s contacts.

No. I don’t want to get a text message on my phone every time a Facebook friend wants to talk about something.

I already have a solution for this, and I think it’s pretty basic but brilliant! If I want someone to be to text me, I simply give them my phone number.

That’s it. Pretty cool, huh? I made the choice NOT to make my cell phone number public on my personal profile. So WHY would I want all of my Facebook friends to be able to text me anytime on that number that I chose not to post?

I hate to say it, Facebook, but I think you need to hear it. You’re slipping. For quite some time, you have been copying from the other networks instead of innovating. And if this is your idea of innovation, you’re going to keep losing fans at an alarming rate.

You’re no longer my favorite social network and that’s because you keep making poor decision after poor decision. You know who else did that? Yeah. MySpace. And how did that work out for them?

TODAY’S QUESTION: Smartphone users: Have you downloaded the Facebook Messenger app yet? What do you think of this mess?


Attention Online Shoppers: eBay was HACKED!

If you haven’t heard, eBay was hacked… and it was a BIG hack.

More details are expected to be released later today. As a precaution, eBay is resetting everyone’s passwords.

Unfortunately, hacking is real and we’ve seen several big cases of it over the years. And yet, many people still have weak or even worse… only ONE password.

Yes, it’s annoying that some websites will not let you re-use old passwords. And yes, the list of required password elements on some websites can be overwhelming. But all of this is for your protection!

Here are some password tips:

If you can find parts of your password online, so can someone else.
Think about it. People can often find your address, anniversary, birthday, etc. online. Under no circumstances should these items be part of your passwords.

Create a unique password for each individual site.
You only have one password? Really? So if someone hacks your eBay, then they can access every other account you have online!

Avoid obvious naming conventions.
If your Facebook password is “Facebook123”, it’s not going to be very hard for me to guess your Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, etc. Stop it.

Change your password several times a year.
I know. Passwords can be a pain. But change them regularly. A moving target is harder to catch.

Keep your passwords in a secure location.
If you can memorize your passeords, that’s great! But not all of us can. So keep them somewhere locked away where you would lock up other vital documents. And no. A notepad on your desk is NOT OK.

TODAY’S QUESTION: How secure are your passwords? Do you have any other password tips to share?


5 Life Lessons from the Theatre

Um… remember me?

Yes, I admit it. I haven”t been here much lately, but I am so pleased to say that everything has been great! You already know how much I love social media, but lately I have been spending my evenings with one of my other great loves… the theatre! More specifically, I have been in rehearsal for SHREK THE MUSICAL with the Bridgeport Theatre Company where I will be playing the role of the Big Bad Wolf.

Becoming the Big Bad Wolf

It”s so much fun to play a fairytale character! And just like a good fairy tale, working in the theatre is full of valuable life lessons. Here are my favorites:

  • Great results come from hard work. I think mobile casino it”s safe to say that most people love a good shortcut. But if you want to achieve excellence, it does not come without hard work and dedication.
  • Organization is everything. You may have heard the quote “Failing to plan is planning to fail” and it”s true! Whether you are getting ready for opening night or to launch a big project, be sure that you have a plan in place to reach your goals.
  • Don”t be afraid to put yourself out there. It doesn”t necessarily have to be on the stage, but you will never get anywhere in life without taking some risks.
  • Do what you love. Whether it is professionally or personally, find a way to do something that you enjoy and care about. Life is too short. So enjoy it!
  • Spend quality time with your friends. OK. So this one is a shameless plug. What can I say? The show opens on Friday, and I would love to see you all there! Gather your friends, pack a picnic, and get your tickets now for performances from April 25 through May 11! I hope to see you there!


Rehearsal photo by Kevin McNair Photography


TODAY”S QUESTION: Do any of these lessons speak to you? What choice can you make today to tackle one of these in your life?




The ‘Social’ in Social Media

Today”s post is a guest blog from Arline Melzer of Picture Perfections Video and Life Story Production.

I’m a business owner who previously spent 15 years in the corporate world.  Most of my corporate work life took place without the benefit of Social Media, but I got to thinking…

Did business ever take place without being social?

Perhaps my corporate experience doesn’t speak for everyone, but I worked for one of the biggest corporations in the world, GE, and then a small 50-person company that grew rapidly through mergers and acquistions.  There was very little I did in these companies that did not involve other people, whether they were casino fellow employees or clients.  Much of my work included solving problems and developing and communicating solutions, managing a customer service department at GE Capital and then later at a software company, managing developers, writers and quality assurance colleagues .

But was it Social?

You bet!  Face to face meetings, conferences, and after hours activities were all social.  Some were ‘team building,’ but we knew inherently that our relationships with people were the most important part of our work lives.

We all know how technology has helped change the way we communicate, but that hasn’t changed the need to have relationships.  What’s evolved is just the way we ‘socialize’ with our colleagues and even some friends.  I know some colleagues, who haven’t quite made the leap, and to those, I recommend Brian Bish.  Not only does he help show you easy ways to make the technical leap, he makes it ‘social!


Arline Melzer, owner of Picture Perfections, is a film producer with a passion to help small businesses with their online video presence, and to help generations preserve and celebrate the times of their lives.

Connect with Picture Perfections on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter!


Isn’t it time for you to LET IT GO?

I’m sure this isn’t surprising to anyone, but I am absolutely addicted to Disney’s FROZEN. Like… a lot!


Well, of course I love that there’s finally a Disney story that is more about family than it is about the Princess finding her Prince. And YES, this one comes with a powerful cast, many of whom come from Broadway. I mean, Idina Menzel is pretty much required listening in my Diva Book!

Speaking of Adele Dazeem…. Ooops. I mean, Idina Menzel… is there anyone out there who doesn’t love “Let It Go”?

Well, maybe my partner doesn’t appreciate it as much lately since I’ve pretty much been playing it on loop since the movie came out in November. But anyhow, I’m getting sidetracked…

I love everything about this song, but today, specifically these lyrics mean more to me than anything:

“It’s time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
I’m free!”

Like any of us, I get stuck sometimes. I might second-guess an idea or hesitate to step out of my comfort zone. Well all do it, right? But WHY?

So today I am breaking through my own limits to LET IT GO! I have lots of exciting things coming soon to share with you, and nothing will stop me!

Here I stand. And here I’ll stay.

TODAY’S QUESTION: Name an obstacle that might be holding you back, personally or professionally? What one thing can you do right now to start to move past it?