What's the difference between a Facebook Like and Follow?

by Felicia Lin

I've been thinking about writing more regularly about social media, so I thought I'd start with a series of blog posts that answer common questions that people have about Facebook.

The question: What's the difference between a Facebook Like and Follow? has come up in one of my social media workshops, so I thought I'd start with it. Thinking about this question leads to other questions such as: Can you like a page but not follow it? Or vice versa? Can you follow a page but not like it? And What does it mean to follow a personal profile? 

First, here's a refresher on a couple of terms: Facebook Profile aka Profile, and Facebook page aka Page. When someone first signs up to join Facebook, a Facebook Profile is the default account created. Once a Profile has been created, that account can be used to create a Facebook Page. A Page cannot be created without a Profile. Pages are created for a variety of reasons, for example, to represent a business, organization, brand or public person. Pages are different from Profiles; they have additional features, like Ads and Insights.

One thing to note is that Facebook has an algorithm called EdgeRank which determines how often a Profile sees other Profiles' or Pages' post. In other words this algorithm determines what you see in your Newsfeed, supposedly showing you what you are more likely to be interested in seeing. Some of the factors considered by EdgeRank include: how old a post is, how engaged a Profile is with another Profile or Page.


Liking and Following a Page vs. Liking but not Following

When someone likes a Page they are by default also following it. In other words, a person has to have first liked a page in order to follow it. If you take a look at a Page that you've liked, you'll see a Following button. If you click on the Following button you'll see a dropdown menu with the options See First and Unfollow.

Did you know about See First Following? This is when a Profile has visited a Page, clicks on the Following button and selects and changes their Follow status to See First. In doing so, this will prioritize the Page's posts above the posts of other Pages and Profiles. Selecting See First overrides EdgeRank and makes sure that a Profile sees a particular Page's posts. This is the most valuable type of like for a Page to have.

Someone who likes a Page can choose to unfollow the Page. In that case the person is still shown as liking the Page, but they will not see all of the Page's posts. 


Following a Profile

A Profile can friend another Profile or follow it, but not like it. Profiles that are friends can see each other's posts. A Profile can follow another Profile without friending it. If your Profile follows another Profile you will see all of their posts, but they will not see yours. This is different from the "friend" relationship, which is a two-way relationship. Reasons for following a Profile could include the following: the Profile has reached its maximum number of friends, the Profile has disabled the ability to accept friends, or the Profile has not accepted your friend request. 

So now when you like a Page, know that you also have the option of selecting 1) See First if you want to make sure you see all of the Pages posts in your Facebook feed or 2) Unfollow if you don't want to see all of the Page's posts in your feed.


Bringing Back the Talking Taiwan Podcast

by Felicia Lin

One of the things I'm working on is bringing back the Talking Taiwan podcast. It's been five years since I started doing the podcast in 2012. In the beginning we didn't even have a dedicated website. All of the podcast episodes were simply available on SoundCloud. When I was at my busiest with the podcast (in 2013 and 2014), I'd be doing an interview a week. I've really missed doing the podcast! It was a great excuse for me to interview and chat with some really interesting individuals over the years. I've spoken with entrepreneurs, innovators, community leaders, authors, activists, actors, musicians and journalists, just to name a few.

But before all this, Talking Taiwan was the brainchild of award-winning radio DJ Rick Monday (2009 Golden Bell for his Morning Show on ICRT once upon a time). The show's producer, Gus Adapon had been working with Rick on the podcast for some time before I had ever heard about it. 

I first met Gus when I was living in Taiwan from 2001-2006. At the time he was working on ORIENTED.org which was the forerunner to Forumosa.com. Gus is a serial entrepreneur with a list of impressive accomplishments (amongst them is producing a film called Pinoy Sunday). He is also the founder of Forumosa.com, which is the sponsor of Talking Taiwan

Years later, after I had left Taiwan and returned to live in New York City, I received a message on LinkedIn from Gus telling me about a podcast he was working on called Talking Taiwan. He was looking for a female host for the podcast. It seemed like a golden opportunity so I pitched myself for the job. That was July of 2012. I didn't hear back from Gus for several months. At one point I reached out to Christine, Gus's ORIENTED.org co-founder for advice on the situation. ORIENTED.org had spun off into ORIENTED.com with Christine spearheading the global ORIENTED Happy Hours. For several years I organized the ORIENTED Happy Hours in both Kaohsiung and New York. Christine told me to be patient and something to the effect of "Gus would get back to me, when he'd get back to me." When I had practically given up on the whole thing, Gus reached out to me. It was October and Hurricane Sandy had hit New York. But finally, we were on. It was a go! 

There are many people responsible for making this podcast happen including our sound engineer Luis, who edits and "cleans up" all my interviews, literally making me and my guests sound better; he also edits my interviews into shorter episodes and adds on a fancy intro to the beginning of every episode. We've also recently added a web person to the Talking Taiwan team- Louie. She will be putting all of the materials related to each podcast episode up on the website. Louie is also a tuberculosis and disability advocate and speaker. You can learn more about her and her work by reading her Huffington Post article here. You can also follow her on twitter @LouieZepeda1 With such an amazing team of talented individuals, I'm looking forward to seeing where we are able to take Talking Taiwan next.

Stay tuned as we get ready to relaunch the Talking Taiwan podcast and website!

How I’m Getting Out of My Blogging Hiatus

by Felicia Lin

I'll admit it. I was in a bit of a funk at the beginning of the year. With my birthday at the end of October, Turkey Day, Christmas and New Year's I had plenty of distractions, I mean "reasons" for getting sidetracked. I'd lost momentum on a lot of things, like this blog. My enthusiasm and motivation for many of my projects had waned. And I wondered about my goals, why I have them, and if I even still wanted to attain them.

When I looked at the last time I'd written a post for this blog, writing a new post became this huge "to do." There were many stops and starts, writes and rewrites and "other work" behind the scenes- before I was finally able to get this blog post out. 

As I seriously questioned what I'm doing and where I'm going, I realized that this is the year of recommitting to many of my long term goals and projects. Because it's taken much longer than expected to achieve these particular goals and projects, it's been hard to stay excited about them. But I knew that I had to do something to get out of my funk. In the past, I have gone through periods like this.

So what do I do at times like this?

I let myself play.

I allowed myself to do things that I enjoy doing without worrying about getting back to work. I socialized and did things for fun. And I think that there must really be something to this because recently I read that social engagement can boost brain function.

I look for inspiration.

I listened to TED talks and podcasts. Many lists of the best TED talks and podcasts have been compiled. Here's a good one that I've come across: The Books, Podcasts and TED Talks You Need to Stay Committed to You Goals. Learning something new or hearing the stories of others can really be inspiring.

I do at least one thing a day.

I tried to do something, however small, every day to reach one of my goals or to complete a project. It is important to pick yourself up again, and to continue working on something that has fallen by the wayside. I like this idea of resuming work instead of "starting over again," which seems so much more daunting. Think of it as picking up where you left off and just keep going. Gradually I will build on this by adding one more thing each day, one thing that will help me to get closer to reaching my goals or completing my projects.

I learn from others.

One of the things that I definitely wanted to do to was to start blogging again, so I read the blogs of other well-known bloggers and individuals who are doing some of the things that I want to do. I like to see what these people are doing, what they saying, and how they are saying it. It is a good reminder to me that I have my own unique voice and that I just need to be me, to write from the heart, and to share my thoughts. For me writing is very much about having a voice, expressing myself and hopefully raising some thought provoking questions and/or sharing useful information. 

I start my day off right.

This has to do with having a morning practice. A morning practice is more than just a morning routine. It can consist of anything from meditating, to setting your goals for the day, reading inspirational text, journaling, or simply expressing gratitude. It is different for each person. I am still tweaking what works for me and I sometimes find that it can be a challenge to stick with this depending on what my daily obligations are. But in general when I've started my day off with some sort of morning practice the day seems to go more smoothly.

I re-establish past routines.

It's important to keep or to go back to healthy routines that have worked in the past. For me this includes daily journaling and regular exercise. 

Creativity can't always be manufactured and motivation can't be forced. Sometimes you need space or distance from things, different experiences, and certain routines to stimulate creativity and motivation.

I'm still working on doing all of the above. 

5 Tips For Doing a Facebook Live Video

by Felicia Lin

Most of the major social media platforms are now focusing on video sharing. Earlier this year, Instagram increased the length of video that users could post from 15 to 60 seconds. Twitter allowed its users to tweet longer videos (the length was increased from 30 seconds to 140). And Facebook launched Facebook Live. Then Instagram introduced Instagram stories, a feature similar to SnapChat, which allows its users to post video and/or a series of photos. which will disappear in 24 hours.

Twitter and Instagram currently only allow videos to be a minute or so long, but Facebook users can now stream via Facebook Live for up to four hours at a time! If you are planning to do a Facebook Live video, there’s a lot more you can do in the time allotted, and there are five things you should consider in order to make sure that your Facebook Live video goes off without a hitch.

1. Plan and Don’t Plan

What do I mean by this?

If you have something specific to share or say, it’s best to announce it beforehand so that your friends and fans can tune in for it. That way you know that you won’t be completely alone during your broadcast. Tell people when you’ll be on Facebook Live, and why, or at the very least say something to peak their curiosity. This is especially important if your Facebook Live broadcast will be at an event or coincide with some news or announcement. However, don’t script what you are planning to say during your Facebook Live broadcast. It’s important to go with the flow during the broadcast; make sure that you interact with and acknowledge all of the people you see tuning in.

2. Get Back to Basics

Make sure you introduce yourself. Don’t underestimate the importance of doing that because you never know who will end up watching your video. Think elevator pitch. And make sure that you clearly tell people what you want to say, or explain what it is that you want to share. 

3. Get Techie

Avoid running into any technical issues during your broadcast. Make sure that you have a selfie stick, a tripod or some sort of stable setup for your phone, unless you are trying to do something a la “Blair Witch Project.” Shaky video is not fun to watch. It might seem obvious to point this out but make sure that your phone is fully charged beforehand. It’s also a good idea to put your phone in “airplane mode” (that’s for iPhone users, for Android phone users, there should be an equivalent setting) because if you get any phone calls during your Facebook Live broadcast the phone call might supersede the broadcast and end it abruptly.  And finally, turn off any notifications because it could be embarrassing if a text message notification flashes across your screen during the broadcast. 

4. Location, Location, Location

This too may seem obvious, but make sure that you are recording in a place with sufficient lighting and that there is not too much background noise, unless your are doing a live broadcast of performance or event.

5. Prepare for the Aftermath

Now that you’ve recorded a Facebook Live video, you can share it directly with others on Facebook, onto a Facebook page, or onto a Facebook event page. But even more importantly, you can save the video onto your phone or download it. It’s a good idea to do this so that you can repurpose the video elsewhere- whether you upload it directly on YouTube, or decide to edit it for other purposes. Facebook doesn’t exactly make it easy to figure out how to download a Facebook Live video. When I finally figured it out I thought to myself, someone should make a “How To” YouTube video for this and so I did. You can watch my video “How to Download a Facebook Live Video" below.

Finally, you can get some insights into who’s watched your videos. Facebook provides users with two metrics: peak concurrent viewers, which is the highest number of viewers who were watching the video while it was live, and viewers during a live broadcast, which is a visual representation of the number of viewers during each moment of the live broadcast. Looking at the audience retention metrics could help you plan for future videos. Now you can practice and experiment with future Facebook Live videos to see what works or not.  

Social Media: Good or Bad?

by Felicia Lin

With every new invention or technological advancement, there's always an upside and a downside. All too often, it seems like people focus on the negatives or potential dangers of new inventions and gadgets.

Take television for example, I'm sure that most would agree that television (or more specifically, the television set) has revolutionized the world. Much has been said, written and researched on the negative effects of watching too much television, and especially on the impact of watching violent television shows. [As a side note, I think it's pretty incredible how the original concept of television is currently undergoing a revolution. Many of today's most popular "television shows"- courtesy of Netflix and Amazon- are probably not even watched on an actual television set.] 

When it comes to social media and the Internet, I'm sure that you could rattle off a laundry list of negative things that could be attributed to both- there's cyber stalking, cyberbullying, pedophiles preying on children, trolls, catfishing, revenge porn, and the dark web, just to name a few.

As someone who generally tries to see the upside of things, I try to focus on the good that social media contributes to our lives. We are social creatures after all and crave social interaction. I think that most people want to feel that they matter in some way- that there is someone else out there who cares about them. Social media can help people feel less isolated by giving them an outlet through which to express their joys and frustrations, and then to feel validated and connected when they receive responses and engage with others. I've seen people make what seems to be a public cry for help on social media, and then receive supportive comments in response. Also on the list of good things about social media, is how we now find out about our friends engagements, weddings and birth announcements through Facebook. Going back to the person who's made a cry for help, presumably it's comforting to be getting responses from friends and acquaintances, and maybe also surprising to see who has reached out or come out of the woodwork to express their concern. Hopefully an outpouring like this would make a person feel less despondent. I've also seen people complain and rant about something over social media, using it as an outlet to simply vent, probably not expecting any particular outcome. In response, I've seen people share their opinions, words of support and encouragement, and how they've also experienced something similar. Some even shared some solid advice, real resources and solutions- which is certainly most helpful and probably another unexpected reaction to the poster's initial rant. A lot of the exchanges described above probably wouldn't have happened at all were it not for the person who initially shared what they were going through on social media.  

There are also many ways in which social media and related technologies have and are bringing about more good in the world:

Social media has facilitated social movements and revolutions (most notably the Arab Spring).

Organizations like DoSomethingGood.org and The Crisis Text Line use social media and technology to make the world a better place.

Charitable giving campaigns (Movember for prostate cancer, #NoMakeupSelfie campaign for cancer research, and The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS) have gone viral thanks to social media.

Authorities and police now use social media to investigate and crack cases. Twitter users have used Twitter to tip off the police.

Response to disasters have also been improved (by Facebook Safety Check and the CrisisMappers Network).

There are indeed a lot of ways that social media is making the world a better place! I remember the first time I discovered Facebook Safety Check. It was earlier this year when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan.

When I saw several of my friends in Taiwan marking themselves safe on Facebook in the wake of the earthquake, I thought, what a really great feature. Now this is social media for good! 

When the explosion on 23rd Street and 6th Avenue happened in New York on Saturday around 8:30 pm, I initially tweeted a photo from the scene for my friends and family to see. I was on my way uptown from the Chelsea/Flatiron district.

I also posted this photo to Facebook with a message that I was safe. When I finally got through all of the blocked streets and made it to my destination, I was finally able to sit down and tell my friend who had been waiting for me what had happened. Later on, close to 11:00 pm, I thought that it might be a good idea to use the Facebook Safety Check to mark myself safe. But when I opened up the Facebook app on my phone and searched for the Facebook Safety Check, I was disappointed. I couldn't find a safety check for the New York explosion. So I wrote another post on my Facebook wall to let friends and family know that I was safe.

I later read an article, which stated that Facebook belatedly activated it's safety feature for the New York explosion, and that it was criticized for not doing so sooner. I'm not sure what Facebook's criteria for activating the safety check is, but I think that they should have acted sooner because New York is a major city. In these situations timing is everything. It was a huge opportunity for some major engagement on their platform, but they didn't get to capitalize on it.

Time and time again, social media has been used for good. I think that it's really changed the world, especially the news and media. It has broken down walls and made news and information more readily accessible. Of course that also means that there is more "news" being shared and circulated, so people have to be much more discerning about the sources of their news and the truth and reliability of what they are reading. 

When I was in Taiwan in 2014, during the Sunflower Movement I saw firsthand how social media helped to mobilize a social movement. On the night of March 18th, activists and students broke into the Legislative Yuan building in Taipei in protest of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement between China and Taiwan. This was the birth of the Sunflower Movement. The Legislative Yuan was subsequently occupied until April 10th, for over 20 days.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media in the U.S. tends to underreport on Taiwan. To prove my point, let's take the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan and the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. Have you heard of either one? It's my guess that more people have heard about the Umbrella Movement than the Sunflower Movement. 

Knowing that there wouldn't be much coverage on the situation in Taiwan and that my friends and family on the other side of the world would be wondering what's going on, I was constantly sharing what I could about the situation on Facebook and my other website AboutSuBeng.com.  

Later on the Sunflower Movement went global after one of the student leaders of the movement, Lin Fei-Fan called on the people of Taiwan to take to the streets on March 30th in a show of support for the movement and to call on the President to negotiate on the terms of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement. Overseas communities began organizing rallies and on March 29th and March 30th, there was a strong show of international support for the Sunflower Movement, with rallies in 49 cities and 21 countries around the world. Social media played a huge role in mobilizing people globally on March 30th and throughout the Sunflower Movement. 

And even more recently, there continue to be unexpected ways in which social media can be used for social good. Researchers from Harvard and University of Vermont have come up with a way to use Instagram to check on a person's mental health. They've come up with an algorithm, based on a person's Instagram feed that can detect if someone is showing signs of being clinically depressed. Snapchat is getting into the act too, but in a very different way. A journalist who was doing a piece on sexual abuse used Snapchat filters to conceal the identities of sexual assault survivors as he filmed their interviews.

I love hearing stories like about how social media is doing good. So I think I'll keep my rose-colored glasses on when it comes to looking at social media.

Since when did love get so complicated?

by Felicia Lin

I live in a city which is notoriously perceived to be a hard place to date. But actually, I beg to differ on this. It is not that hard to get a date or to meet people at all. The real problem is getting into a relationship and finding love. There's so much choice or at least the perception of choice. And in an environment like this, all too often people want what they can't have or look to trade up.

Sometimes we think that "the heart wants what the heart wants" and if we want it enough we should just go for it. And if the other person is not exactly on the same page we'll wait for them to come around, and even make excuses for them when they don't.

Why do we do this? And why should love be so complicated?

What really got me thinking about this was spending a couple days with my adorable niece and nephew- aged 4 and 5 going on 6. I don't get to see them nearly enough since we live on opposite coasts. They are really getting to be so expressive! I hope I'm not getting to be a jaded New Yorker, but I have to say that I was struck by how easily these children expressed their affection by telling me and their grandparents, several times a day, that they loved us- pure and simple. It was so sweet and I had this feeling of "I love you and you love me, we all love each other." What open-heartedness! It was so wonderful being around these kids who are so lovable, carefree, direct and unincumbered. Children are amazing that way! Being around these children made me really think about love.  

Whatever happened to that easy feeling of loving someone just because you love them? And not thinking about whether or not they love you back? I'm not saying that love- especially when it comes to relationships or potential relationships- should be one-sided. What I am saying is why can't we be open-hearted enough to just say and feel that we love someone without expectations? You love someone, and if you love them and they don't love you back so be it. There needn't be any drama over that. If it is, it is. If it isn't move on. We cannot make someone love us, or love us back the same way even though we love them. And you don't need to beat yourself up over why that person doesn't love you back or in the same way.

At the same time it's important to remember and know that you do deserve love. Love should be easy and when it's right, it will be returned. Love is a two-way street. It really shouldn't be a struggle, at least not in the very beginning. 


Dear Facebook, I'm just not that into you anymore

by Felicia Lin

It's me, not you. You were my first, the first place I'd go whenever I had something to say or share, but now there's someone else. 

I've fallen down the rabbit hole of Twitter and now I'm hooked. I find myself consumed by the tremendous volume of information that's being shared at breakneck speed there. And it's pretty amazing the things I've learned and discovered through Twitter. I see Twitter as a community of informed people who want to share and pursue knowledge, which appeals to me. I'm really enjoying all the exchanges that are happening in the Twitterverse. I try to do my part to participate and to share informative, inspiring content with others. Now that this Pandora's box has been opened it's not going to be closed! 

Yes, my dear Facebook, I feel like I need to meet some new people. I've never been really big on sharing every aspect of my daily personal life in my Facebook status- like what I'm eating for breakfast. But I do want to share and connect with others. I'm not leaving you, I'm just diversifying.

Don't be jealous but I'm really into Instagram now- a platform which is all about how "a picture is worth a thousand words." In the past it seemed like such a chore have to post a photo every single day. I just didn't take that many photos. But now I sometimes post two or more photos a day!

How did that happen?

I started taking more photos without even realizing it. Lately I've been taking long walks around different parts of the city. I'll just wander around and see where it takes me. If something strikes my fancy along the way I'll photograph it. I've also really gotten into photographing street art. Earlier this month, I did a self-guided tour of the 100 Gates Project, and in the process, I came across a lot of the street art that's around the Lower Eastside. By the end of the day I had a ton of interesting photos, which I figured I'd post one by one on a daily basis. I had a "bank" of photos to choose from for my daily post. If you have a very clear message or subject matter, I think it's a great idea to have a collection of photos on hand to pick and choose from for your daily Instagram post. By the way it's not a hard fast rule, that you can only post one photo a day. I've experimented with posting several photos in one day, which makes sense if all of the photos are related e.g. they are all from a specific event. 

These days I'm always looking around and noticing what I might want to photograph. And now that I've started focusing on photographing street art, it seems like I see street art everywhere! The thing about posting photos on Instagram that is so gratifying, is seeing complete strangers liking and commenting on them. Now I'm thinking of starting an Instagram account specifically for my street art-related photographs.

Here are a few of the photos I've posted to Instagram recently:

My favorite time of day- before the sun begins to set

My favorite time of day- before the sun begins to set

Graffiti is everywhere (Lower Eastside, New York)

Graffiti is everywhere (Lower Eastside, New York)

A tribute mural of Keith Haring 

A tribute mural of Keith Haring 

One of gates of the 100 Gates Project

One of gates of the 100 Gates Project

I literally saw this artist at work while I was walking through the Flatiron district.

I literally saw this artist at work while I was walking through the Flatiron district.

Flowers are one of my favorite things to photograph.

Flowers are one of my favorite things to photograph.

Like what you see? Then follow me on Instagram @felishalin

Don't worry Facebook, I'm not leaving you. I'm just taking a break. You might not be number one anymore, but I will be back. And I'll even share some of the things I've posted on Twitter and Instagram with you. 

Happy July 4th Fireworks or Not

by Felicia Lin

I'm not really one for fireworks. I feel like if you've seen them once, you've pretty much seen them all. So I'm also really not one to make plans to go out and see fireworks on the 4th. 

But for some reason, every year, I always seem to have a bunch of friends who want to get together to see fireworks on July 4th. And more often than not, this always seems to come up at the last minute. I guess that's what happens when you're a single, busy New Yorker. Holidays like this have a way of creeping up on you. 

Looking back on it, my friends and I have always managed to figure out a way to spend the 4th together somewhere with a view. Being able to find a place to go with a view at the last minute in New York City is quite an accomplishment. It is only rivaled by finding a place to see the ball drop live in Times Square on New Year's Eve. Finding a place to be able to watch fireworks on July 4th is the whole point, isn't it? Otherwise we could just stay in and watch it on TV. 

One year a bunch of us ended up picnicking in the park space alongside the Hudson River; later we watched the fireworks launch over the Hudson. On another occasion, a friend of mine shared access to the rooftop of his apartment building so that I could invite my friends over for a barbecue with a view. More than a few times, I've been invited to backyard barbecues of friends who live in New Jersey, and into the homes of strangers who were my friends' friends. Each time one of us was invited to a gathering, there would be a group of us in tow. Time and time again my friends and friends' friends have generously opened up their homes to celebrate and share the view of the fireworks from their balcony or roof.

What I've come to realize is that, July 4th is not really about the fireworks.

Holidays like this are about friendship and celebration. In a way, without even realizing it, I think that July 4th has been the holiday that brings me and my friends together even more than Thanksgiving. And for that I am grateful.

Here's to a Happy July 4th- fireworks or not! 


What's worse ghosting or benching?

by Felicia Lin

Last week we shared an article on the Metropolicks Facebook page and Twitter account called "Benching Is the New Ghosting." What is "benching?" It's a sports metaphor for the bizarre textual limbo that single people in the dating scene sometimes find themselves in. These days, it seems like a lot of people prefer texting to picking up the phone and making a call. Benching is about more than text messages vs. phone calls though. Here's a definition of the word based on the "Benching Is the New Ghosting" article.

I've both been ghosted and benched- quite recently in fact. And I can tell you that as I read the article, I thought to myself that benching was much worse, but only because I cared and was holding out hope that maybe there was a chance with this guy. That is what makes benching so painful- the cycle of hope and disappointment.

When I thought about it much later, I realized that there have actually been numerous occasions in which I've been "benched" but the difference was that in those cases I didn't care a rat's ass if I ever saw or heard from the guy again. It was all a huge joke to me- the random text messages and feeble attempts that they made to reconnect with me. I never seriously considered these guys. One of them I had met once. He stood me up the day we were supposed to meet again in person. For up to a year afterward he would randomly text message me. The other had made an awkward, inappropriate pass at me. After I rejected his advances, he continued to text me for months afterward. It was hard for me to believe that these guys actually thought that they 1) had a chance with me and 2) that they could resurrect things after their behavior. So in those cases it was more of an annoyance than a frustration.

But perhaps the two cases mentioned were not actually cases of being benched because as the article explained: 

In a romantic scenario, you’re not going to go along with this unless you want to actually date the bencher. If I were to pull this on someone who’s over the idea, he just wouldn’t respond. The benchee is complicit because he wants it.

The one who benched me recently- we had seen each other a handful of times before the benching started happening and I thought we had a connection. But whatever was going on, on his end, it got to the point that I had to put an end to it. How did I do that? By text of course. 

Why I'm blogging again

by Felicia Lin

The ironic thing about now being a published author is that I have not been doing very much writing for quite some time, and I miss it. 

That is why I am back here. To just write.

It has been AGES since I've blogged on a regular basis. I do write and post things for AboutSuBeng.com and Metropolicks.com, but that is not really the same as keeping a personal blog.

I first started blogging in 2002 while living in Taiwan. And I still remember what a big deal it was deciding to set up a blog because it was basically going to be a very public online journal of my life in Taiwan. It really look a lot of courage* for me take that first step. I felt really exposed and vulnerable, knowing that my words and inner most thoughts were going to be published on the Internet where anyone could come across them. I kept my identity on that blog relatively anonymous; my full name was never revealed as the author of the blog, and I only shared my blog with friends and family. 

To put things in perspective, this was in the days WAY before social media. In those days, when Blogger was all the rage, blogs were quite revealing, some were diary-like, others were a daily documentation of the blogger's life through words and/or photographs posted; basically blogs were windows into another person's world. Sound familiar? Having a blog was the closest thing to what social media today is. A blog was a place where you could share things about yourself, your life, your opinions, and anything at all. Back then, most people didn't blog. It is really incredible to see how much things have changed with the prevalence of social media today. Now people can share every little moment of their life with a press of a button.

Going back to those pre-social media days, my first blog really allowed me to put my words and in essence, a piece of myself out there publicly. It is something that I definitely needed to do as an aspiring author- to get comfortable with my fear, and to open myself up to the possibility of public scrutiny. At the time, I had just learned about something called the "inner critic," which I discovered had been holding me back from seeing myself as a creative person and pursuing my dream of one day writing a book.

Fear and the inner critic are still things that I contend with when I write or prepare to write. In fact, they came up after I decided to start writing a personal blog again, and in the midst of writing this blog post. I need to remind myself that I must write simply because I want to. I have to. And that while I have a standard that I'd like to adhere to when I write, sometimes I just need to write, despite the judgment and criticism of myself and of others.

I think that when I first started blogging in 2002, that's when my life as a writer and author began, so that's why I'm blogging again.

*As a side note I love the definition of the word courage that Brené Brown gave in her TED talk: The power of vulnerability: cour is the Latin word for heart, so the word courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.