All Articles Tagged "social media"

Pop Mom: Moms On Social Media, The Envy Is Real. Here’s How To Deal

April 14th, 2016 - By Erickka Sy Savane
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Wow, Tina looks good in that bikini! you think, strolling through your Facebook feed. She just had the baby last month. How did she do it?

And there’s Nessa and her man in Dubai. The last time you and the hubby had a vaca Bush was President. Wonder who watches the kids?

Ah, look at Lisa’s spa day with the girls. You couldn’t get a sitter…

Switches to Instagram.

Damnit! Why didn’t anyone tell you that Stevie Wonder was playing a concert in Central Park?! Don’t they know how you feel about Stevie? There was that one time you and your mom risked getting cancer staying at the dankest, darkest, mildewy-est hotel room in New Orleans (you booked late) for Essence Fest, just to see him? But, man, it was worth it. You’d fly to the moon to see Stevie. To think that all you had to do was jump on the freakin’ subway train is maddening! And just look at everyone smiling like this could be his last concert on earth. Damn your life and everyone on social media!

It’s like you never get to do anything fun. Most days feel like a constant grind between work and the kids. And it’s not like you don’t enjoy spending time with them, it’s just that you want to be able to do some of the things you used to, like pick up and go!

Yet moms on social media are everywhere doing everything and sometimes you feel like that old newspaper sitting in the corner turning yellow.

It makes your relationship with social media dysfunctional at best. You love it, you hate it but you keep coming back. It’s because of work, you tell yourself, but a part of you knows better. Social media is your lifeline and without it you’d lose sight of everything.

So how do you deal with these feelings of straight-up envy whenever you get on social media?

You’d call your mom for advice, but she’s only on Facebook for Candy Crush. Last checked, she had no friends. Calling your friends is out because they’re the reason your life sucks. Who else could you call…? said while scrolling through your Facebook feed.

Wait, there’s Harriette Cole. The other day you saw a promo for her column, Ask Harriette, and were happy to see her still doing it. Why not ask her? She’s a mom on social media and since she was your boss back in the day, maybe she’ll take your call…

“First of all, stop taking in so much social media!” Hariette scolds. “And also be aware of the triggers that bring you down. Usually, it’s the images.”

She got that right. But it’s impossible to avoid the images.

“Well, if it happens that you see people from your circle at a party that you weren’t invited to, instead of getting down and grudgeful, congratulate them. Tell them that the event looked like a lot of fun and you’d love to be invited the next time. It happens so much with moms because we’re always taking care of our children. People forget. So remind them.”

She’s right. Between the kids, work and the hubby, your time is limited. Invites from even your closest friends get turned down, especially if they aren’t kid friendly.

“But you also have the power to decide what you want,” she adds. When you’re balanced enough to look outside of your nuclear family and work, use social media to start engaging. If it’s motivation to work out that you want, ask some friends on Facebook to join you on a run. If it’s inspiration and inclusion you need, create your own sisterhood.”

It makes so much sense. But when did you become so envious in the first place?

Maybe when you developed mom bod or perhaps when you started wearing the same three pieces from your wardrobe everyday, or maybe just maybe when you stopped remembering the last time you hung out with friends. Your lifestyle and priorities are so different. You ain’t the girl you used to be. And maybe that’s fine because the old you didn’t have kids and all she thought about was herself … and imagine if you couldn’t make the switch? You’re not supposed to be her. Running the streets all day and night. The vision of perfection. Who’s with your kids?

Harriette shared one last tidbit that was helpful. She said that her mom would tell her to count her blessings whenever she was feeling less than. “What are the little things you can be grateful for?” she’d say. “And she’d literally have me count them.”

Hmmmm…

You’re grateful for this conversation.

Erickka Sy Savané is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Essence, Uptown, Heart & Soul magazine, xojane.com, and more. She has a column for moms called Pop Mom, and before writing, she was a model/actress/MTV VJ. Read more of her work at ErickkaSySavane.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram

#Him: Shouldn’t We Just Call Our Partners By Their Names?

April 11th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Corbis Images

Some of the most giggle-inducing moments of my life have come from my immediate family’s group chat. This past weekend, my mother wanted me to ask my boyfriend about a store in his country, South Africa. And I said:

Me: Sure, I’ll ask T*. 

And since we were on the topic of my boyfriend I decided to fill them in about a very thoughtful purchase he made for me.

Me: In other news look what he got for my feet.

I sent them a picture of an apparatus used to address the slightly protruding bones in my big toes. 

Sister: What is that?!

Mom: Right!

Me: He said my big toes curves inward kinda like Aunt Myra’s. So this is supposed to correct it before I’ll need surgery.

Sister: T* ain’t no doctor guh lol

Me: It doesn’t hurt and they go a bit so I’m giving it a try. And then to my sister, I know fool! But his mom had the same thing.

Mom: Ron, never refer to T* as “he” always give his name.

Me: What are you saying Mom?

Meanwhile, my Dad, always one to stay on topic, asks if my feet were actually bothering me. For the record, they’re not. 

Mom: “He” sounds like them street women trying to talk about their men.

Me, still not getting it: Huh?

Sister: She is saying quit saying “he.”

Like how hoodboogers refer to “their” men as “he”

Then, in my defense: But she said he after she mentioned his name.

Me: Mom, I mentioned T initially so I don’t want to keep saying ‘I’m going to ask T and look what T gave me and T said…’ it’s just redundant. It’s just too much. You know who I’m talking about.

Mom: Okay, okay!!!!!!

My mother has been known to be quite extra. I don’t think referring to your man as “he” is street. Still, I do see her point. I know I’ve seen my fair share of the never-ending social media posts from women posting some “artistic” image of their man with a simple caption: “Him.” Or hash tagging yet another picture of your man #HE. It is obnoxious. And frankly, a great way for “side chicks” to tell the world that they have a man, even if he’s not yours exclusively. You know, an image of his hand, cologne, back, foot, let’s the world know that he’s around. Even if he can’t be around all the time. It’s about telling your business while still maintaining the mystery. I’m being facetious for those who can’t tell.

Even in conversation, I notice that women will be speaking to other people who know their boyfriends, husbands very well, and will still refer to them, consistently with some type of pronoun or sweet, romantic nickname. It’s one thing if you’re speaking to strangers who won’t know your partner by name. But there’s no need to call your man bae, ad nauseam when I’ve known John longer than you have. Annoying. Hell, it might speak to the level of insecurity people have about their relationships, feeling the need to constantly remind you of their relation to said person.

I think what my mother is trying to say is that names are important. And it’s important to acknowledge people by them, as opposed to nondescript pronouns that could be applied to literally anyone or anything who identifies as male.

Have you noticed women referring to their partners as “he” or “him”? Does it bother you?

“There’s A Boy That Likes Me:” Is Downplaying Your Relationship Once It’s Public Ever A Good Idea?

April 7th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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Instagram

If you’re curious why Meek is trending right now it’s because the Internet has put him on a not-to-be-taken-lightly suicide watch after Nicki Minaj went on Ellen and said she’s single and called the Philly rapper “a boy that likes me.” Now in all fairness, those comments sound a bit more harsh than they actually were delivered and there is an explanation, though maybe not a great one, for why Nicki described Meek and their relationship as such: public negativity.

When inquiring about the engagement ring that’s supposedly not an engagement ring, Ellen asked Nicki if she was ready for a proposal from her famous boyfriend and she replied:

“You know, I don’t know. We’re still figuring each other out. And in fact, I don’t even want to say that I’m in a relationship anymore, because I think when people hear that, they go to like the mean place.”

Doing what she does best, Ellen provided comic relief saying she’s coming from a happy place (so spill the tea), and the Young Money star continued:

“You know, I used to be secretive. You guys asked me about that before on my pre-interview. I used to say, ‘I’m not in a relationship,’ even though I was in a 12-year relationship. Now I feel like just going back to that and saying, ‘You know what? I’m single… Now, I don’t really care to say ‘I’m in a relationship’ or ‘I’m engaged’ or whatever. There’s a boy that likes me. That’s all.”

So, you like him too? Or nah?

For the most part, I get what Nicki’s saying. If us common folk can fall prey to Insta-drama when people see a pic with someone one day and draw a crazy conclusion and then see a pic without the person a week later and draws another, I can only imagine the level of ridiculousness when you have 52 million followers. However, calling the person you’re dating just “a boy that likes me” or saying you two are just “two souls going through the universe” when she’s stuffed Meek down our throats for months on end, just isn’t going to cut it. Not for us, because we don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but likely for Meek.

Despite looking up to Beyonce and Jay Z as a couple, Nicki failed to learn from their example of acting like they didn’t even know the other inhabited the same planet when they first began dating. Instead, Nicki has spoken about Meek every chance she’s gotten and splattered him all over her Instagram, as recent as one week ago mind you. That is not the behavior of a woman who doesn’t really care to say — or show — she’s in a relationship.

The thing about making relationships public, especially on social media, is there are no take-backs. You can’t have “In a relationship with Jason” on your Facebook page today and then remove it tomorrow without more than a few questions, even if you are still in a relationship with Jason. And the same goes for Instagram. If your timeline is full of photos with bae and #RelationshipGoals hashtags, suddenly halting all of that oversharing will raise a few eyebrows and, if you haven’t discussed downplaying your relationship with your partner, one of those eyebrows is going to be theirs.

Nicki is right; the negativity that surrounds relationships these days is not cool. But neither is portraying the person you’re with as some lovesick puppy following you around and showering you with nice things (like multi-carat diamond rings) you can take or leave. And given the rather inglorious year Meek has had between his legal troubles and being sh-tted on by Drake, the last person he needs to be played by is his girlfriend. On national TV. You don’t have to say you’re single to get the public out of your business; all you have to do is stop putting your business on display for the public.

Because Meek is a man, his ego is on the line and the masses are taking no mercy when it comes to throwing shots at him. But really this situation isn’t much different from how we clown women like Emily Bustamente for being with men like Fabolous who still refuse to acknowledge them as their girlfriends, even though they’ve been together for umpteenth years and have reared more than one of their children. There’s a way to go about downplaying your relationship in a way that doesn’t disrespect your union or the person you could maybe one day possibly see yourself marrying. Most times that’s going to have to be done from the jump, and be a joint decision by both parties. Nicki didn’t handle this the right way and now Meek has to pay, publicly.

 

Could Your Social Media Content Be Keeping You Single?

April 4th, 2016 - By Deja Jones
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Picture this: You’re hanging out with some friends at lunch, and a guy approaches your table. He’s been checking you out for a while from his seat at the bar and decides he just has to know who you are. Being the cautious person that you are, rather than giving him your number right away you decide just to keep it safe and exchange social media information, so you get his Facebook and Instagram names and tell yourself that if you don’t like him you can always just unfollow and block him.

After you leave your friends, you decide to research this guy. So you’re scrolling through his Facebook newsfeed and his Instagram account, and all you see are memes calling women “thots,” twerk videos, rants about women in general, and you wonder, “Sheesh, why did he even approach me?” So you’re sitting there in all your womanhood, baffled. Needless to say, delete and block…he won’t be hearing from you.

On the flipside, what the opposite sex finds on your social media accounts could be a turnoff as well. You might believe that you’re ready for love again, but your pages could say otherwise. You might still be holding on to some past hurt from previous relationships, and social media has become your venting ground. Your most recent ex messed up big time, but you’ve bunched his drama into the generalized category of “all men.” You post statuses and create memes about how much you can’t wait to find a person just for you, made for you, but then, you also post even more statuses and memes bashing just about everybody. So in this day and age, when it comes to dating and making connections and exchanging Instagram handles, Facebook accounts, and Twitter handles, one can’t help but wonder: Could the content you post be a reason you could be having a hard time finding love?

I mean, think about it. We all judge a lot of people based on the things they say, post and do on social media. And also think about it from a professional perspective:  Some jobs in certain fields ask for your social media information when applying or when you’re on staff, and it’s not just to be nosy, but for marketing reasons, and in some cases, to get to know what kind of person you really are.  That’s why experts always advise you to be cautious of the content you post. Shouldn’t the same standard be set for your love life? You’re dating guy B, but still posting subliminal and negative messages and memes about what guy A did, which lets guy B know that God forbid if he messes up or makes a mistake, he’ll be subjected to the same drama. Therefore, he walks away wondering why he should even bother pursuing or being with someone who’s that publicly bitter and jaded.

I get that sometimes when we’re hurt, we don’t think about our actions at the moment. We just want to make that person hurt just as much as they have hurt us. It’s easy to repost a meme that relates to them hoping they see it, or a fake deep status rooted in our pain because we hope they feel remorseful for what they’ve done and whether they see it or not, everyone else does–including that prospect you were hoping would ask you out. But sometimes you have to do a self-check and ask yourself if you were someone else, how would you perceive yourself based on the things that are prevalent on your social media accounts?

“Me And Kehlani Were Not Dating When The Picture Came Out” Kyrie Irving Finally Speaks On Cheating Allegations

March 31st, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Kyrie Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers guard, who is at the center of the discussion surrounding artists Kehlani and PartyNextDoor, finally decided to issue a statement about the cheating allegations and the nature of his current relationship with the singer.

The tweets were later deleted but the screenshot is real. Cleveland Sports Talk, as well as several other media outlets, saved them beforehand.

The timing of this statement is interesting. While I’m certainly happy that he finally spoke up, it would have been more useful when Kehlani’s name, character and reputation were being called into question by far too many people, who didn’t and don’t know her, on the internet. At the front of the pack was a very vocal and extremely hypocritical Chris Brown. Perhaps Kyrie has been avoiding the news lately and didn’t see that his former girlfriend attempted to commit suicide. Who knows?

Either way, now that the statement’s out, hopefully some people learned some valuable lessons, like:

  • A picture often doesn’t tell the full story.
  • Stop shaming women…and comparing all of them to Ayesha Curry.
  • Don’t listen to Chris Brown
  • Be careful what you say on the internet, it can severely hurt people.

What do you think of Kyrie’s statement?

Is Your Kid’s Selfie Habit Hurting Her?

March 29th, 2016 - By MommyNoire Editor
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Your daughter seems to spend more time glued to her phone than actually breathing fresh air. Instead of learning that second language you wish she’d study, she’s checking out which Instagram filters show off her new dress the best. Sound familiar? Whether you like it or not, selfies have taken over the social media world.

As a parent, it’s normal to ask yourself why your kids are so obsessed with what’s happening on their Facebook and Instagram feed? And you’re not alone in that worry. A staggering 91 percent of teens having posted photos of themselves online.  This modern fascination with the selfies raises some serious concerns for kids and parents alike.

The big question of course is what is this selfie obsession doing to your kids?

Let’s start with the obvious.  Selfies reek of narcissism.  They are also boldly in your face; often showing your kid in a more grownup light than you (and really they) are potentially ready for.  Finally, with cyberstalking becoming more common, it’s hard not to worry about what your teen is up to online.

Overall, there is very little press that shows selfies are painted in anything but a negative light. After all, if she is updating the world about every little detail of her life, how can you trust that she’s staying safe online?

So what’s a parent to do?

Parenting Expert Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein tackles these issues perfectly. In this video she stresses that when it comes to your kid’s selfie habit, the REAL issue lies in the fact that you need to “make the judgment call [of where these photos are shared]. Whether she’s a tween or a teen, [she] may not always have the judgment call really right for herself.”

We couldn’t agree more! Sometimes, teens don’t understand the repercussions of their actions. It’s up to you as her parent to teach your child how to protect herself online.

But don’t worry, it’s not all bad news.

According to the LA Times, there are some hidden perks to taking selfies. After conducting a study, Lev Manovich stated that, “this self photography [are] indicative of a whole new photography movement and a way for individual self-expression.”

He goes on to say that, “It’s almost like a new landscape, or a new thought process: ‘I am a part of this picture.'”

As we see it,  it makes total sense that your teen just wants to feel like she belongs. When done right (and by that we mean with discretion and safety in mind) not only are selfies a great way for her to express herself, they make her feel connected to her peers.

The US News backs this up by saying that selfies can help shape your teen’s identity. With the right supervision, selfies can impact your children’s happiness for the better.

So we ask you this: how are you managing your kid’s selfie habit?  If you have a great idea for our readers, share it in the comments!

We couldn’t agree more! Sometimes, teens don’t understand the repercussions of their actions. It’s up to you as her parent to teach your child how to protect herself online.

Reprinted with permission from YourTango.com

After Suicide Attempt, Kehlani Gives Her Side Of The Story

March 29th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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http://kehlanimusic.tumblr.com/post/113656409752/tsunami-for-arisjerome

Yesterday, we, along with several other media outlets, wrote about the alleged cheating scandal between R&B singer Kehlani, fellow artist PartyNextDoor and NBA basketball player Kyrie Irving. What was once juicy and sensational, took a very real, very nasty turn as people used what they thought the story was, to attack Kehlani and her character.

When I wrote about the whole thing yesterday, I specifically mentioned the fact that I hoped she had positive, uplifting people around her. While people may try to make light of it, there is something so soul crushing about being berated and belittled by people who never have and likely never will meet you.

Unfortunately, yesterday all of the backlash got to her. And she posted an image on Instagram explaining how she tried to take her own life.

Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

Later, she posted another image of the man she creates for saving her.

#Kehlani #PartyNextDoor #BaeWatch (view previous post)

A photo posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoominc) on

And then, lastly she offered even more of an explanation about what happened in her relationship with both Kyrie and PartyNextDoor.

#Kehlani opens up more about her relationship with #PartyNextDoor ( view previous post)

A photo posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoominc) on

You would think that Kehlani opening up about her feelings regarding the situation might elicit some type of sympathy. For some it has but there are still those who believe this is a way to get attention or to make people feel sorry for her, in light of what they perceived as mistakes. Trolls gonna troll. And I hope Kehlani really does distance herself from social media as she attempts to heal.

In the meantime, there have been well-wishes too. From the likes of Karrine Steffans, (Who’s currently going through her own drama.), to Erica Campbell.

See what they had to say below.

https://twitter.com/karrineandco/status/714707926280249344

We’re praying for Kehlani and wishing her the best.

Is It Weird That My Ex Named His Daughter After Me?

March 28th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Is It Weird That My Ex Named His Daughter After Me...

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There are few things more engaging, informative and entertaining than a gathering of intelligent Black people. This past weekend, I trekked from Harlem to Brooklyn to attend such a gathering. And as usual, I was not disappointed. We talked about racial tensions at our alma mater that had finally come to a head, bad dates, HBCUs vs. PWIs, and most interestingly, the intersection of social media and our past lives.

What started off as talk of 10-year-high school reunions turned into a discussion about how social media has granted us access to information we never would have known in the past and arguably, might not need to know today. We talked about the fact that you know not only the relationship status but even the inner workings of said relationships because of Facebook or Twitter. We know how many children someone has had since we graduated high school. And the odd couple from college who got married suddenly.

And perhaps most interestingly, we know, for better or worse, what our exes have been doing since we parted ways.

It was then that my friend from college shared a very interesting story.

Like so many of us, after the breakup she decided to remain Facebook friends with her ex. The two dated two-three years ago and recently, he just so happened to pop up on her newsfeed. She learned that since the last time she’d checked; not only had he gotten married, his wife had recently given birth to a baby girl. Babies are always blessings, so she liked the picture of the little girl and then kept scrolling to find out more information.

After a few scrolls, she found that the little girl had a very interesting name, her name.

Now, for clarification purposes, let me just not that my friend’s name is not Ashley, Kate or Sarah. It’s quite unique and quite Afrocentric. For the sake of anonymity, I won’t use her real name but think along the lines of Fatima.

Most of us, American born Black folk, don’t meet too many Fatimas in our life times. And interestingly enough, her boyfriend wasn’t even American Black. He was Latino and White. So, I would assume that he too hadn’t run into too many Fatimas during his day either.

But after dating a Fatima, for just about a year, he decided that it would be a suitable name for his daughter, something he and his wife would call her for the rest of her life. My friend “Fatima” who had liked the picture of the girl, quickly scrolled back up to remove her like, not wanting to cause any strife in her ex’s household. Imagine what his wife would think to see Fatima liking a picture of her daughter Fatima on her husband’s page. Obviously, since she’s his Facebook friend she would know the two had some type of connection. And Fatima reasoned that if he hadn’t told his wife about the inspiration behind their daughter’s name, she didn’t want to be the one to expose it and cause any tension in their household.

While my friend said a part of her was a bit flattered by the name choice, she also found it exceptionally weird and inappropriate. (I leaned more toward the latter sentiment.) Maybe he just really liked the meaning of Fatima. And maybe we’re all just a little too self centered to see that some people are big enough to disassociate the name from the memories they have with and of a particular person. Still, there’s something strange about calling your daughter by the name of your former romantic partner.

What do you think about naming a child after an ex? Does it mean that they’re not over you and want to honor you in some way? Or does it just meant that they happened to like the name? Also, if you were to discover that your husband named your child after one of his exes, what would you do?

Is This Petty? After Four Years And A Baby, He Still Won’t Post Pictures Of Me On His Social Media

March 25th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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1245001

We’ve talked in the past about how petty it is or isn’t to allow social media happenings to put a dent in your relationship. But who are we kidding? It’s 2016, and social media plays a significant role in the way we communicate and operate. Therefore, it’s no surprise that our habits online can affect our companions.

For instance, we received a message in the MN email from a woman wondering whether or not she was overreacting for being bothered by her long-term boyfriend’s failures to share images of her, or even of them together, on his social media. Specifically, his Instagram. “We’ve taken studio family photos together that I’ve posted on Instagram and Facebook. But when I go to his pages, he doesn’t put them up,” she said. “It would be one thing if he didn’t really use his accounts like that, but he posts random sh-t almost daily. It’s disrespectful.”

She went on to say that he might share an image of her if they’ve taken a photo with his friends or with members of his family at special events (a.k.a., group photos), but nothing about them as a couple, no pictures of their child, no birthday shoutouts or anniversary love. She doesn’t get it.

She has asked him why he, in her mind, tries to hide her and their daughter, but he just says that he doesn’t want to put too much of his private life out there. The way he sees it, not only is it no one’s business, but it could be “dangerous.”

I mean, not everyone is a big fan of putting their children out there or their spouses. But there’s something weird about that when you’re willing to expose so much else about yourself. Could he be attempting to paint a single image of himself?

But a lot of people do it. Like famous rappers for instance. Despite having had a television show featuring his wife and kids, T.I. rarely posts any pictures of Tiny. Out of all those images from their baby shower, he only posted one on Instagram, and it was of himself with Tiny and all their children. And that maternity shot Tiny shared last week? He didn’t put it up.

And then there’s Fabolous, who we all know is in a relationship with Emily Bustamante. And we are aware from her time on Love and Hip Hop that it took him forever to claim her publicly. And yet, after two kids, years together and more, he also rarely shares images of himself with her. And when he does, the captions are aimed more at those who question the lopsided nature of their relationship, than they are about her and his love and affection for her.

Maybe Tip and Fab are just trying to hold on to the image they try and convey in their music, which is that they’re available. But considering that we all know good and well they’re not, and that they post multiple times a day on social media, it’s always been a little weird that the leading ladies in their lives aren’t really featured on their accounts.

In everyday life, though, some men just aren’t that open about a lot of personal stuff, and I can understand that. Not every woman is sharing a picture of her significant other consistently either. Some people just don’t believe that type of stuff needs to be put on public display for folks to see and pick apart. And maybe, in the minds of those who keep their personal relationships out of public view, it’s more important that a significant other knows that they’re part of the bigger picture than to hold so much value in being front and center in an Instagram picture. So what I’m trying to say is no, I don’t think this situation is worth questioning your relationship over. Because it’s important for those who matter to know who you love, not the world.

However, it is interesting when only one party in a relationship is open, publicly that is, about the love they have for the other. Of course, that doesn’t mean the other party doesn’t love them too, or is living foul. But it sucks that the person who has held you down, and in this woman’s case, brought your child into the world, can’t get some acknowledgement. And yet, your car, your new shoes, and the errands you run, can…

#noshadenotea

But as always, that’s just my opinion. Is it petty that he doesn’t post pictures of her on social media? Or is it petty that she’s upset by it?

Pop Media: How Do We Decide What’s Appropriate For Kids?

March 24th, 2016 - By Clarissa Joan
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It’s a new day. We live in the age of information. The kids these days don’t know about encyclopedias or libraries. They have Google, Wikipedia, and Media Take Out to name a few. If a parent implements parental controls in the home and/or decides to delay communication about worldly affairs, children these days have immediate access to additional resources sans filters.

Censorship is a joke these days. Even daytime television depicts sex vividly and serves as freeway for every expletive except the F-bomb.

What are we as parents suppose to do? How do we help our children manage the data dump of information they are forced to engage daily? How do we protect their “innocence” and prepare them for life?

This is a quagmire to say the least.

Situations like Kim Fields of The Real Housewives of Atlanta abruptly exiting a meeting with an elected official due to the topic of gun-violence are on one end of the spectrum. This we will call, the bubble— waiting to be popped. On the other hand, we have celebrity children like Blue Ivy and North West making appearances in music videos and at entertainment events traditionally inappropriate for young minds from a content standpoint. Excessive?

Where is the balance?

If a parent sets up passwords in the home to restrict Internet access and television programming, what stops a child from accessing said content via their friend’s smartphone or computing device? And what are we trying to protect our kids from anyway?

Gun violence in America is a real issue. All of us should be aware of this, especially, when we combat threats like Newtown.

Sex, body awareness, and intimacy are very relevant matters to be aware of as a human being. We are born with vaginas and penises. Who decided we should learn about them at 21?

Profanity? What’s that? Who deemed certain words offensive, and why would we ever give a word so much power? What does F**K mean anyway?

There are many ways to approach this very important responsibility of early childhood development. What we expose our children to early on in life (up to age five) lays the foundation for how they interact with the world until they are no more.  Or maybe it is how we expose them to life?

Why have we chosen to delay teaching our children about real life matters until adulthood after their mental development has peaked?

Would it not behoove us to stuff their minds with as much information as possible during their first five years of life? This would create an atmosphere of innovation and new developments during their formal education.

Most of the people we deem to be very successful were exposed to their passions, interests, and/or purposeful traumas very early on. Maya Angelou became a household name when she wrote a book about how exposure to rape and murder at an early age birthed her passion for words. Michael Jackson began studying controversial artists like James Brown before he was ten. Oprah was a teenage mother.

This is not to advocate for traumatizing your children in order to propel them into greatness. On the contrary, this is about passing down wisdom sooner than later in an effort to accelerate your child’s growth trajectory.

“It took me 26 years to find my path, my only job is to cut the time in half?” – Jay Z

What are we waiting for? No one is promised tomorrow. We have to seize each day. If you became a teen mom at 15, your child needs sex education at seven. Just like chronic disease screenings, we need to be proactive about preparing our children for life.

Do you know that Generation Y is the first set of Americans projected not to progress further than their parents? “Millennials (and some of Gen X) have had less access to full-time jobs and wealth than previous cohorts.” – Forbes

At the end of the day, every child is different. We, as parents, must discern what our child is ready to tackle from an accountability and awareness standpoint.

But the sign of the times is, “when you know better you better.” – Maya Angelou

With our guidance into full knowledge instead of away from it, our children will be better equipped for greatness instead of living on our couches at 29 afraid of the world outside.

Clarissa Joan is a spiritual life coach and editor-in-chief of The Clarissa Joan Experience. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband, their two girls, and a yorkie named Ace. Clarissa is also an expert in impact investing.