Category Archives: Published pieces

Has Social Media Made It Impossible To Live In The Moment?

20th September 2013

How do we find a balance between the desire to share and the need to unplug?

A few weeks ago I found myself among a packed crowed at Yankee Stadium as Justin Timberlake and Jay Z light up the stage performing their hit song “Suite and Tie.”

However instead of relishing in the moment of seeing two of my favorite artists perform live for the first time, my attention was focused on my iPhone.

As I frantically prayed for my Vine video to upload, I realized that instead of enjoying the concert I’d waited so long to see, I was too busy trying to document it on social media.

iphone_concert_616

Sure, now I have the images and videos to help me relive this event. And sure, I got some validation through the likes and envious comments I received. But for me, this was not enough to dismiss my feelings of social media remorse.

Whether I’ve missed a home run checking in on Foursquare to a baseball game or gotten too caught up instagramming my food to actually take the first bite, more and more social media has seemed to take away from instead of adding to my real life experiences.

And unfortunately, this is not just something I myself am doing.

Much like when I gather with friends who end up turning their attention from our real life relationships to digital ones, last year the website Badoo found nearly 40% of Americans spend more time socializing online than in real life.

While in many ways social media has allowed us to share everything from the simplest to most sacred events of our lives with more people in real time, it has also taken away from the action of “living in the moment.”

Now the challenge we face, especially for those of us who work within this medium, is how to deal with social media seeping into every spectrum of our lives.

Because, whether for better or for worse, social media is here to stay. So now we must master the art of finding a balance between the desire to share and the need to unplug.

(This post originally appeared on the Firebelly Marketing blog)

Barbie’s Spark Debate Over Cultural Stereotypes

11th April 2013

This post, which originally appeared on Fox News Latino, was my first piece to go viral. I think you know you have started something when they are talking about it on CNN….

One is wearing a Chilean huaso, a knee-length black skirt with a ruffled blouse and red vest. Another is decked out in full Argentinean tango attire, with a ruffled blue dress and black lace shawl. A third has long black hair and wears a long pink dress filled with lace. And she’s holding a Chihuahua.

The dolls are part of the legendary Barbie line and they are being relaunched as part of an effort by Mattel, the makers of Barbie, to appeal to a new, more diverse generation of doll enthusiasts.

barbies of the world

The “Dolls of the World Collection” – initially launched 30 years ago but now making a comeback – is trying to represent a variety of countries to the Barbie consumer, including many from Latin America.

“Girls enjoy exploring the world and learning about different cultures through play,” Sara Rosales, a Mattel spokeswoman, told Fox News Latino. “The Barbie brand understands the significance of introducing new cultures to girls in a relatable way.”

According to Rosales, the company conducted research to create dolls “that celebrates both the country’s heritage and culture.”

“The Dolls of the World collection features the native fashions, while celebrating the cultures and diversity represented within each country in a way that will appeal to Barbie fans of all ages.”

But the campaign has provoked backlash among some advocates for promoting tired stereotypes.

“It would be nice to see some contemporary images from these countries,” Felix Sanchez, chairman and co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, told Fox News Latino. “These images seem very dated and seem to have been created for a different time.”

With the new collection showcasing Barbies from countries – including Spain, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil – the Mexico doll, in particular, has caused a bit of a stir.

On the Barbie collector website, the doll is described as having the facial sculpt of a “new Hispanic” and a skin tone that is “LA tan.”

Dressed in a pink ruffled dress for a “fabulous” fiesta, the Mexico Barbie is accompanied by her “Chihuahua friend” and a bright-pink passport.

Journalist Laura Martínez told Fox News Latino she didn’t see the inherent stereotypes in the doll as offensives, necessarily.

Girls can “play with your Barbie Mexicana,” Martinez wrote out on her website, but “don’t even think of calling her indocumentada.”