When I tell people that I manage social media for a living, one of the most frequent responses is, "Oh, so you play on Facebook all day.""Um, something like that."

The truth is, Facebook is just a portion of where my attention goes. There's Twitter, article comments, forums, and navigating our own and endless blogs.

And when I'm off-duty, the last thing I want to do is be anywhere near my iPhone or my laptop. This causes almost constant nudging of me in the online Scrabble games I'm playing with my mom and grandma.

I long for our twice-a-year camping trips where I can't get online, even if I wanted to. The 15-day Hawaiian Cruise I lust for is more attainable than a Facebook vacation.

That's right, I said Facebook vacation. It's actually a fairly common occurrence, according to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

The study, conducted in December, noted that "61 percent of current Facebook users say that at one time or another in the past they have voluntarily taken a break from using Facebook for a period of several weeks or more."

Considering that two-thirds of online American Adults are Facebook users, that's a lot of people making a conscious decision to stay away.

You've probably seen a trend in recent years of more and more people giving up Facebook for Lent.

I find it fascinating that people have ranked giving up social media with giving up chocolate, potato chips and alcohol as a way to suffer. Then again, staying off social media does free up quite a bit of time in the day for prayer and meditation.

Of the vacationers, 21 percent said they don't have time for the site. The No. 2 and No. 3 reasons were lack of interest and lack of relevant content.

Personally, if I were ever to give it up, if would be because of the No. 4-ranked reason: too much drama, negativity and conflict.

Find a link to the complete study at www.pewinternet.org.

Oscar contest

It's billed as Hollywood's biggest night -- Sunday is the 85th annual Academy Awards. Watch 'em or not, everyone seems to have an opinion of what movies do and don't deserve to win an Oscar.

If you think you know how the academy will vote and who will win, you should enter our contest. The winner will receive a $25 gift card to a Bakersfield restaurant.

There are eleven categories, and one tie-breaker to pick. It's free to enter, and all categories will be open until 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Enter at tinyurl.com/BakoOscarContest, or look for the link on our Facebook page Facebook.com/BakersfieldCalifornian.

I've entered my picks. Look for the link under the "Make Your Picks" tab to see all our staff picks. I'm generally way off, so I don't advise copying me. Heh.

Historical photos

Do you remember going to Young's Drive-In?

On Friday, we posted the first in a series of historical Kern County photos on our Facebook page.

With permission from, and thanks to, the Kern County Library, we'll be adding these weekly and invite you to share your memories, as well as any information about the photo.

Many of the library's photos don't have a lot of information with them, so if you know something, please share in the comments.

And if you have a digital copy of a photo taken in Kern County that is at least 30 years old, email it to me jbutow@bakersfield.com along with all the information you know about it (location, date, etc.).


Are you a mom with a blog? If you're a mom with kids who watch the Disney Channel, you're probably thinking of the "Dog with a Blog" television show now.

If you're a Kern County parent who blogs about parenting issues, things to do with your kids or cooking, we'd like to see what you write. We often link to other blogs on BakersfieldMom.com, so if what you're writing appeals to a wider audience, let us know!

Send links to me at jbutow@bakersfield.com. Please put "Bakersfield Mom" in the subject line.

Jamie Butow is the community engagement coordinator for The Bakersfield.com Network. Email her at JButow@bakersfield.com. Follow her at Facebook.com/JamieButow2, and on Twitter@JamieButow.