15 minutes, er seconds, via fox 8 this morning

Thanks to Jacquie, whom I’ve known for awhile now but finally met today, I was included in a quick segment for today’s That’s Life with Robin Swoboda on women and social media — or so we thought. Turns out the segment was more about women and there potential social media addiction and how it can ruin families, and we were portrayed as two possible victims. Maybe that angle makes for better TV, I don’t know. But what I do know is that I think we handled the surprise twist rather well. And while I’m sure like anything in life people can become addicted, to me personally, social media has enriched my life. And I believe Jacquie would say the same thing.

The segment was quick and for the most part, rather painless. Robin was really quite friendly and meant no harm. As for the doctor, I felt she was trying to make something an issue, perhaps for business and awareness or maybe because she truly believes this is a problem. Either way, I found it pretty funny when she confessed her love for Facebook during the break.

Social media is about connections and sharing – it’s not a new phenomenon rather what people have done for centuries. What has changed is the technology to do this which ultimately makes this very old ritual much easier and quicker. I’m sure if you were to look back through history, people were accused of talking on the phone too much (land and mobile), or writing too many letters and spending too much time reading the paper. It’s always something. I’m convinced sometimes people look for problems and as I rewatched this morning segment (the doctor went before us and discussed how easy it is for women/moms to become addicts and how to recognize the signs), it’s clear to me that she was reaching and in some ways, not very familiar with social media as a whole.

In the few moments we did have, I tried to explain how social media has impacted my life, for the better. Unfortunately, and as expected, we didn’t have much time so I couldn’t really make all the counterpoints I wanted. If we did have more time, I would have explained all the ways in which social media, specifically blogging, has impacted me.

I started Cleveland Foodie a few years ago so I could truly understand social media and therefor help my clients. The one main ingredient to blogging is passion. If you’re going to author a blog, it has to be something you’re passionate about. For me that’s easy – food and Cleveland, so a blog about the wonderful food in our city was a no brainer. And while I started the blog to improve my understanding and ultimately help my career, it has helped me in more ways than I could have imaged. The blog has afforded me the opportunity to explore a passion I’ve always had and a career path I once wanted to pursue. I’ve gotten to know our wonderful chefs and become part of the restaurant scene in town. I’ve learned so much more about our city and connected with/learned from people all over the country, both as it pertains to food and as I joined the greatest club on Earth — motherhood. And my husband and I have met so many people and made many wonderful new friendships. The blog has also led to ongoing freelance work for Metromix and Cleveland Magazine. And as for my original goal of helping my career, it most definitely has and then some, in many positive ways. I can honestly say that I truly enjoy what I do for a living.

So if some want to call my blog an addiction, so be it. I choose to see it as a golden opportunity that has given me the chance to take a passion to the next level. Maybe FOX 8 would like to have us back on and discuss the positive attributes of social media? But I will concede and say this: I have been the proud owner of an iPhone for just 48 hours. And if the past two days are any indication of the future, then I might find myself on that doctor’s couch because I am well on my way to becoming addicted to that glorious little contraption.

And for the record, what my daughter sees is two parents that absolutely adore her and enjoy every possible minute enjoying life as a family. And the fact that we’re so aware of social media and actively keep up with the times can only benefit us for when she’s a teenager.

On a side note, I learned two things from seeing myself on TV: I need a better foundation and I have more baby weight to lose than I thought!


  1. Dine O Mite
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    The iphone is a very beautiful thing.

  2. James
    Posted May 23, 2009 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I am someone who worked with Jacquie a few years ago and caught back up with her via Facebook which was a pleasant surprise. Two comments: One, I think you both did a great job, more so now that I find out about the last minute change in presentation. It was like watching two people that were at ease with their subject and surrounding’s. You both looked like you had been making TV appearances forever. Two: never read your blog before but will be doing so in the future very nice job on describing the TV appearance. Oh, and one last thing, I couldn’t agree more with your line: “I’m convinced sometimes people look for problems…”

  3. Jacquie
    Posted May 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    James, thanks so much for your nice comments! I’m so glad we got reconnected too.

    Michelle, I’m so glad you were with me on the show. You really turned it back around. Great post too! I linked to it on my facebook page. I need to get an iphone so I can spend MORE time tweeting ;)

  4. Melkeil
    Posted May 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I thought you did a great job yesterday in the small amount of time you were given. I am also exploring the impact of SM for my job (city planning consultant) and have seen the positive impact that facebook, blogs, YouTube etc can have. Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with old friends and enriched my life thru making new ones. I am able to share in the triumphs of my kids and help support other friends and their causes. I think facebook is the new way that people will get engaged in their community and therefore improving our social and physical environment. How can this (SM) then hurt our families??

  5. Anonymous
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    didn’t see this but don’t worry about the baby fat. Look in a mirror if you want an accurate view of yourself. TV always adds 10to 15 lbs because of horizontal resolution.

    Also, I used to be in a labor union and was interviewed myself along with some co-workers when we were on strike by local media.
    You couldn’t pay me to do that again. Most useless bunch of people I ever met.

  6. foodfan
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Of couse old media hates social networking “addiction” because youger people are spending less time watching TV. Every time that I have been interviewed the reporter focused on something minor that fit their own agenda. They will go off in trivial tangents and it is a challenge to get them back to your talking points.

    I did not get to see your segment because I never watch local TV and the link showed me how to shop at Dave’s but not you.

    Your blog is the first thing I turn to when going to a restaurant for the first time. Thanks for feeding my “addiction”

  7. Anonymous
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I agree with the above, this is why I don’t watch too much local TV. When I do it’s Ch 3 and never FOX. That’s pretty bad on their part and totally unfair not to prep you and have you on under false pretenses. If I were you, I’d be livid, although I’m sure not too many people watch the show! What they don’t realize is that it only hurts them by not being honest because you both, like so many others, have big voices in social media and in Cleveland and that word can spread rather quick. It’s a shame because a segment on women and social media, like what you said it was supposed to be, is something I would have liked to have seen.

  8. alexa - cleveland's a plum
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    weird how they turned the topic on you like that.

    thankfully you’re a pro michelle.

    well done :)

  9. Managed Chaos
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Missed the segment, but am glad that you were able to put a positive light on the benefits of social media. It really is all about building connections, not just some passing fad or addiction.

  10. maybelle's mom
    Posted June 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    the camera really does add a lot of weight. you probably have less weight to lose than you think.

  11. Heather Marks
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    It was great meeting you face-to-face on the set, and I was sorry to see how they played up the addiction aspect so much. I firmly believe that the problem isn't the vehicle, but is internal to the person. If someone is prone to addictive behavior, social media is just another place to go to feed that addiction. Personally, I appreciate how social media via the Web has allowed me to reconnect and stay in touch with people when my life is so busy. Keep blogging and help feed our addiction to wonderful food!