All Articles Tagged "social media"

Subway Worker Fired Over Celebratory Facebook Post About Murdered Police

May 12th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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subway fb postSierra McCurdy was a Subway employee until she used Facebook posts to celebrate the murder of two Hattiesburg police officers.

The officers, Benjamin Deen, a 34-year-old father of two, and Liquori Tate, 25 and on the job for about a year, were both shot and killed on the job over the weekend during a traffic stop. Four suspects have appeared in court, charged with a crimes including capital murder and obstruction of justice. The two officers were tearfully remembered by family, friends and colleagues yesterday.

Meanwhile on social media, McCurdy, a Laurel, MS woman took to social media saying, “2 police officers was shot in hattiesburg tonight. GOT EM.” She also included laughing emojis and gun emojis to the post, reports The Grio.

People were outraged at her posts. Not only did folks vent against McCurdy but also Subway since McCurdy was wearing her work uniform in other posts.

When Subway got wind of the complaints they acted fast , fired McCurdy, and released a statement saying, “This kind of behavior is unacceptable and does not represent the values and ethics of our brand.”

More than anything, you have to wonder what kind of person would celebrate the senseless murder of other human beings, whether you have issues with the cops these days or not. But on top of that, keep in mind that people are watching your social media folks, so be careful what you post.

Time To Un-Friend? Should Our Facebook Pages Include Professional Contacts?

April 29th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Have you ever asked yourself why you’re “friends” with certain people on Facebook?

During college, it might’ve been a noteworthy achievement for some to have hundreds or thousands of followers, but what about today? Is it smart to let everyone in on your business?

Like most of you, I use social media outlets like Facebook to interact with friends and family. Modern technology sure does make it easier to stay in touch with folks and abreast of life changes. While the bulk of my “friends list” are people near and dear to my heart, I do have professional contacts among my personal Rolodex. Even though I’m pretty good about filtering content I post, there are times when I have to double check as current events have a way of bringing out emotions.

How many have seen status rants about everything from politics to pop culture? Sure you’re entitled to your opinion and are allowed to express yourself, but I can’t help but think about how what we post–justified or not–can affect our business relationships. Given we wouldn’t discuss certain topics around the water cooler, should this also apply to our social media, or do you think it’s necessary to rethink adding professional contacts?

The news is full of stories involving the consequences of poor choices online. Does anyone remember the girl who got fired before her first day on the job because she thought it was a good idea to complain?

Given current events like the protests and riots in Baltimore and the upcoming political season, I can only imagine the things we’re going to see online. This makes me think about topics close to my heart and whether or not I remember to use my filters properly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed or afraid to state my opinions, I just think certain discussions are better left for people in your circle.

A friend of mine has no issue taking to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and whatever else she can find to express herself. In many cases, she makes wonderful points but doesn’t always use the most tasteful language. As a result, some of her opinions have landed in the workplace because she has colleagues on her list friends. While I certainly don’t think people need to argue over something that happened in a personal space, when you leave the door open for this to happen, it kinda should not be so shocking that it occurs.

As much as Facebook continues to change, one of the things I can appreciate is the ability to have individuals follow you without friending them. Rather than having to worry about a particular list, you can simply mark your posts as “global” if you want them to be available for Joe Public to see.

Facebook has always been more of a “let your hair down” kind of outlet instead of a professional one for me. I leave most of my career-related contacts to LinkedIn but do understand situations where the two mix. Sometimes you build relationships outside of the professional realm with colleagues that make social sharing a reality. Just be careful how much you share or overshare as it might do harm to the good thing you have going.

Are you friends with your boss or co-workers online? If so, does that sway what you post?

TMI Much? Things You Shouldn’t Overshare On Social Media…But Probably Do

April 20th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Shocked business woman


Social media platforms like Facebook are a wonderful tool as they keep us connected with friends and family. Such platforms are also a great way to stay in the know when it comes to different life events and even news. But even with all of its perks, there are some major setbacks to using social media…like dealing with those who overshare.

Don’t think you have a problem?

Here are some signs that you overshare on social media. It doesn’t make you a bad person, but you might want to consider being a little more private in the future.

Twitter Launches Periscope, A Live Video-Streaming App For iPhone

March 26th, 2015 - By Janel Martinez
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Periscope-LogoTwitter will now offer users more than 140 characters. The popular social networking site has unveiled Periscope, an interactive video app that let’s you broadcast in real-time to your followers.

Sound somewhat familiar?

Well, Twitter acquired live video-streaming company Periscope in January. It’s clear that the social media juggernaut wastes no time, rolling out the app, which allows followers to interact in real-time by commenting and “sharing ‘hearts’,” as VentureBeat noted.

“A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around,” the Periscope team said in a release on

The app is also a direct competitor to Meerkat, the new live streaming app introduced recently. With news of a building explosion on Second Avenue in Manhattan, Periscope is already trending on Twitter as users livestream from the scene.

Mashable reports that the apps simple design and easy-to-use navigation make it a more polished product than Meerkat. Fellow live-streaming app Meerkat has been gaining traction and popularity, which could’ve led to the quick release of Periscope

Here’s how the live-streaming app works:

Like Vine, you have to sign-in with your Twitter credentials. When you launch Periscope, you’ll see a list which is divided into “Featured” Periscope users, including early adopters like Shonda Rhimes and magician David Blaine, and people who you follow who are currently on Periscope. Don’t feel pressured to keep all those on that list. The app allows you to deselect and pick and choose who you want to follow.

In the Watch area, you’ll see a list of videos. At the top are your current broadcasts as well as recently recorded ones. When you broadcast, you can choose to make it public or private. You’ll have to hit the “lock” icon prior to broadcasting to select the individuals you want to invite if you’re opting for the private option. Periscope allows a tweet to be sent out to your followers when your broadcast begins, so they can watch via the Twitter site or in Periscope if they have the app installed.

Once your broadcast has ended, it can be viewed for 24 hours as a “replay,” or deleted immediately or saved to your camera roll.

Periscope is a standalone app currently available on iOS.

Will you try Periscope? If so, let us know why in the comments section below.

How Social Media Can Mess With Your Self-Esteem If You’re Not Careful

March 24th, 2015 - By Erica R. Williams
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Women who use Facebook are apt to feel less happy with their lives. This is according to a study by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Another study, this time from the University of Georgia, found that social networks play on self-esteem (good and bad) and even encourage some narcissistic tendencies. They say that people who log on to Facebook daily boost their self-esteem.

Here you have two studies with different results. Nonetheless, both share one commonality: frequent social media use can affect how you feel about yourself. S. Shyam Sundar, a researcher from Penn State said in an article on Psychology Today that, “The more you get connected to Facebook and social media, the stronger you feel the items you post are part of your identity.” These studies and Sundar’s comments basically confirmed what I already assumed: social media is a powerful tool and can affect our perception of ourselves and our lives. This was reason enough for me to decrease my use of it. But there are other reasons.

Here is a shameful confession: I was once guilty of social media comparison. I looked at other people’s pages and at times compared my situation with theirs. I wondered how the frequent travelers got money or time off of work to travel as much as they did. And while I did my fair share of traveling, I couldn’t help but think that my passport stamps were nothing compared to the places that these people had been and seen.

Then there were the fashionistas who post every outfit they own (or don’t own). Initially it was entertainment because I genuinely love fashion, but then it became an obsession. I too wanted the latest Louboutins every other month, but my monthly bills shut that desire down as quickly as it popped into my head. How depressing.

And of course I was bothered by the people who are just so damn successful, at least according to their social media pages. It seemed like they literally had at least 30 hours a day compared to my 24. While I’ve achieved a lot of professional success in my own life, when I glanced at the professionals on my social media pages, I couldn’t help but think that I needed to grind harder and that I hadn’t done enough with my life.

If I had to choose which social media study described me during that time, it would be the one where it negatively affects one’s self-esteem. Thankfully I got out of this naive way of thinking, partly because I now limit my social media usage and use more common sense, knowing that most things online aren’t what they seem.

But as a mentor of young girls, I can’t help but be concerned about their self-esteem as it relates to what they see on social media. Filters that make everyone look flawless and posts that make every life seem more appealing than your own can wreak havoc on an impressionable girl’s image of herself, just as they did on my own.

Still, social media isn’t all bad. It’s a good way to connect with friends, promote businesses, and simply be entertained. It only becomes a problem when you use it to boost your self-esteem based on likes, compare yourself to others, and begin to take it all too seriously.

Here’s a bit of rationale. Think about it: you only post when you look or feel your best. You usually refrain from doing so on the days when your hair is unkempt, you think you haven’t had much sleep, and it’s showing on your face. Remember that the happy, living-the-good-life posts you see are only a portion of people’s lives, and if you’re not careful, you will think something is wrong with yours for not being as consistently entertaining and like-worthy.

I’m a firm believer that social media should not be the first and last thing you see or do every night; it’s best to limit the amount of time you spend snooping on other people’s photos altogether.

Even the strongest girl with a high self-esteem can’t help but be affected by all she sees on social media if it consumes the majority of her day. So let social media be a form of entertainment and not a determinant of how you value yourself and your life.

10 Things Celebrities Have Taught Us NOT To Do On Social Media After A Breakup

March 19th, 2015 - By Alexandra Olivier
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Breakups are never easy. Love will make you do some crazy things when you’re all bae’d up, but it’ll also make you think crazy thoughts once you’re bae-less. With Twitter, Instagram and Facebook ruling our lives and relationship statuses, social media has become the go-to place to share such thoughts–even for the stars.

With subliminal shots and salty comments flying every other day, here are 10 things celebrities are guilty of doing online that you should avoid after calling it quits with your own ex.

Keep That To Yourself: The Right Way To Operate On Social Media When You’re In A Relationship

March 3rd, 2015 - By Alyssa Johnson
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Black woman on computer


I’ve never understood why some women feel the need to post all of their body and business on the Internet. Actually, I’ve never understood why some women do a lot of the things they do on social media, and the shenanigans only seem to get worse when they’re in a relationship. Trust me, there is nothing worse than witnessing a woman play herself publicly by being too forthcoming with any and every detail about her relationship.

Ladies, whether you’re here for it or not, there is a certain etiquette you should follow when it comes to talking about your relationship on social media. There are unspoken rules, and while other women won’t come right out and tell you, I’m here to let you know that your relationship posts have probably been fodder for gossip and laughter on many occasions–if you’re in violation, that is.

Here are a few things I often see that literally make me want to send a private message to let folks know they are being way too “extra” on social media.

Going Way Too Hard For Him When He Doesn’t Do The Same For You

There is one woman on my timeline who recently got engaged. While I’m happy for her, I never thought her relationship was going to reach that level. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with her, but it’s because her beau always looks so uninterested in the back-to-back photos she posts of him. From the first date she was posting that he was the love of her life. And while she always looks extremely excited in every picture, he often looks like he would rather be somewhere else. Luckily for her, everything worked out. But she still took a huge gamble by putting her relationship out there so early and in such an over-the-top way.

Being Too Eager With Your Relationship Status Too Soon

If you’ve been with your guy for less than a month, it’s probably too early to change your relationship status or post pics of the two of you together. True, the two of you have agreed to be exclusive and you’re really excited about it so you want the world to know. That’s sweet. Problem is, the relationship is fresh and things could go sour pretty quick. If this happens, you’re stuck with having to change your relationship status back to single. Once that post hits, the questions will soon follow and a lot of those questions will be from nosy people you don’t even interact with on a daily basis. Yes, people are that nosy and that bold. To avoid this, make sure you have something solid before making the status change. Or better yet, don’t let people know that you’re in a new relationship at all.

Exposing All The Ups And Downs Of Your Relationship

Now this one always gets a roll-of-the-eyes from me.

This woman has flooded your timeline, tagging her mate in sappy love posts and while reciting lyrics to love songs. All of a sudden, she turns around and lets the world know the very next day that he has been cheating and is an “ain’t sh*t dude.” I’ve pegged these women as emotionally unstable posters who don’t know how to pick up a phone, but want to share their angst with anyone who might be on their side and show them sympathy. If you’re that woman, know that no one wants to jump on the rollercoaster ride that is your relationship along with you. Only a bored and equally unstable person would be interested in seeing this kind of drama play out on their timeline. If you and your boyfriend are at odds, talk to him, or keep it to yourself.

Public Displays Of Jealousy

If another woman comments on your mate’s status, please do not feel the need to comment right after her to upstage her or talk crazy to her. It makes you look desperate and gives others room to speculate about your situation. Everyone can see when a woman is seeking validation and it’s not a good look. As long as the woman’s comment isn’t disrespectful and you trust your man, you don’t need to enter every conversation that he has on social media to make your presence known. Besides, another woman paying your man a compliment shouldn’t send you over the edge.

Trying To Convince Everyone Else That Your Relationship Is Solid

I have patience with this one, but after a while, it gets old. A woman that mentions her boo in every single one of her posts can be cute, but it begs the question – who is she trying to convince? Does she not have his phone number? Is she really as happy as she wants you to believe?

Call me petty, but I just don’t think people need to know all that much about your relationship. I’m very old-fashioned in that way. While we might want to scream from the mountaintops about the people who make us happy, it’s not necessarily a good idea. Have something for yourself and be happy, and if you’re not, work that out between you and your man. Besides, the less another person knows about your relationship, the less information they have to be able to poke holes in it.

Is This Petty? My Boyfriend Still Checks Up On His Ex On Social Media

February 27th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Laptop Gif

Is it harmful or harmless for your man to check up on the goings-on of his ex?

That is the question a woman who reached out to me for advice asked the other day. She and her boyfriend have been dating for almost a year now and they seem to be going strong. However, she is troubled by the fact he has been lurking on his ex-girlfriend’s Facebook page.

While trying to use his laptop to pay a bill one day, she typed in the letter ‘f’. One of the first things to come up was a Facebook link followed by the name of his ex. Without a second though, she clicked on it, and there this former flame was: the woman her boyfriend had dated for two years; the woman his family was still a big fan of; the woman he claimed did him oh so dirty. There she was, in countless photos, cheesing it up. And while browsing through an ex’s news feed doesn’t equate to an affair, she told me that she was hurt by the fact that he even cared to know what homegirl was up to. Why was she still on his mind?

When she confronted him about it, she claimed that he didn’t understand what the problem was and felt like she was overreacting. He hadn’t reached out to his ex. Instead, he just thought of her out of the blue and curiosity pushed him to take a look at her page to see what she was up to. Nothing more, nothing less. To keep her happy though, he claimed it wouldn’t happen again.

But what does it really mean to you when your partner goes about looking up their ex?

Curiosity drives us to do a lot of things, but I think there’s a difference between looking at what your ex is up to and trying to contact them to get back an old thing. The woman I spoke with did the right thing by being upfront and letting her partner know what she saw and how she felt about it. Now that he’s aware of the fact that she doesn’t appreciate him checking up on his former flame on social media, he can take note of the way it makes her feel and cut it out if his intentions are truly harmless (and if he is truly happy in this new relationship). But if it keeps happening, then they might have an actual problem on their hands.

But honestly, lots of people stay “connected” through social media with people they used to date. I know I do. But I was “friends” with two of my former boyfriend way before I met my current boyfriend. Our interactions are very limited, and when they post pictures that end up in my feed, I smile at the progress they’ve made, the pics of them with the parent I used to get along well with, and even the new cute girlfriends in their lives. It’s all love at this point.

Okay, I won’t lie: I might giggle a little bit if they look rounder than they used to…

Still, I have no interest in reconnecting with them, even to talk. And if my boyfriend had a problem with this, I would be happy to unfollow them because what we have is important to me.

I say all that to say that it can be a harmless thing to be in a relationship with someone who every once in a blue moon, might look to see what has become of their ex. Being curious about what someone is up to is different than looking them up to stare longingly at their photos and try to get back in touch with them. If you find out that your partner has looked up his ex, letting them know how you feel is best, and all you can do is trust that they will stop if it makes you uncomfortable. But if their actions go further than a quick peek and you find out that things have become inappropriate, or even that they’ve continued to look up their ex after you made your feelings known, that’s not okay. That is when some real decisions need to be made about whether or not you need to move forward with this person, or if they need to take their behind back to ol’ girl.

But what do you think? Is it petty to be upset about your boyfriend looking up his ex on social media?

‘Grow Your Brand’ Brings Together Millennial Women Entrepreneurs During Social Media Week NY

February 27th, 2015 - By Janel Martinez
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smw15Brooklyn Wine Yard was packed with business-minded women looking to take their startups and companies to the next level. Hosted by Innov8tiv, Ibom LLC, MadameNoire and Social Media Week NY, “Grow Your Brand” provided attendees with invaluable knowledge on what makes a great pitch and ways to brand yourself in the digital age.

The pitch portion, which was hosted by Ariel Lopez, founder of 2020Shift and career coach at General Assembly, and yours truly featured Jessica Santana, co-founder of Brooklyn On Tech and Worldwide Boss; Kianta Key, founder of EveryBody; and Michelle Gall, founder of Digital Girl, Inc., among other women in tech. After each entrepreneur delivered a three-to-five minute pitch, the pitch coaches—Anthony Frasier, co-founder of The Phat Startup; Chana Ewing, founder and president of littlebigGirl + CO; Eddie Washington, business development producer at General Assembly; and Associate Managing Editor at Black Enterprise Janell Hazelwood.

The conversation spread beyond the four corners of the venue and across Twitter timelines via the event’s hashtag, #smwnetworq. Here are several tips shared during Tuesday’s Social Media Week event:

Who Run The (Social) World: How Millennial Women Can Grow Their Brand Through Social Media

February 24th, 2015 - By Janel Martinez
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Happy Black woman on computer


Women are powering many of the hashtags and social conversations that hit your screens today. More adult women in the U.S. use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, according to data compiled through personal finance site And it’s no secret that when you break down the stats further, Black women over index on social. According to “The ESSENCE of Black Women Consumers” report, Black women are twice as likely to spend more than three hours on social networking sites in an average day than the general market.

So, how do we leverage our social capital? We’ve tapped power women from tonight’s Social Media Week panel, “Grow Your Brand,” for their insight. Check out several tips from Anie Akpe, CEO/publisher of Innov8tiv Magazine and co-founder of IBOM LLC; Ariel Lopez, career coach at General Assembly and co-founder of 2020Shift; Chana Ewing, president and founder of littlebigGirl + CO; and Janell Hazelwood, associate managing editor at Black Enterprise.

On their best advice on branding yourself across social media…

“Don’t try to be someone you are not, and be sure to tap into one or two core areas you can be an ‘expert’ on. These areas should align with your passions and what you’ve seen tangible success and results in doing.” — J.H.

“Be as unique as you can be. You can have the exact same product as your competition, the difference is how you promote and sell that product.” – A.A.

“Keep it professional, yet authentic.” It can be a tough balance to strike, however, it’s essential to gaining trust and leaving a solid first impression.” – A. L.

“People like to get to know real people. You have to decide 1. Where you can be open and honest 2. What’s the best channel (s) for your voice to thrive and 3. What are the 1-3 areas you can speak to with authority and then show up. Show up often and show out.” — C.E.

An example of a company, startup or individual that has mastered branding…

“For entrepreneurs in particular, an effective personal brand is synergistic with the business brand. Your personal brand should reflect the lifestyle elements of your business brand. Take Renae Bluitt of She’s built a blog and brand chronicling the lives of fly female entrepreneurs (many of whom work in beauty), while being a fly female entrepreneur in her own right via her PR company, Crush Media. That’s logical and brilliant. It’s important that your personal brand serve your business goals.”— C.E.

“At Black Enterprise, Twitter chats and social events have been awesome in terms of engaging with an audience and boosting visibility and sharing of content. Strategically using hashtags and incorporating feature stories, along with strategic marketing is key. You can reach millions within an hour, for example, simply by connecting relevant people to relevant topics, infusing content throughout the chats or events, and having conversations on trending topics as they relate to the brand’s purpose.” — J.H.

“I love how Ello entered the market. With a black dot and a smile, Ello peeked our curiosity on its product. In addition, Ello is by invite only; thousands of people (including myself) requested an invite just so we could see what all the fuss was about. Ello (still in BETA) recently raised over $4 million dollars and has approximately 1 million users. That’s what I call excellent branding by a startup company.”— A.A.

“The first company that comes to mind is Apple. They are bigger than the products that they’ve created. They’ve influenced the lifestyle of masses. Apple has become a household name, not only because of the quality of their products but the resonation they have with consumers.”— A.L.

What’s next in the world of branding and social media…

“For companies, social will become more about what they can creatively present visually versus using text. For example, Pew Research Center findings show that more African Americans prefer Instagram over other platforms, and among white consumers, Pinterest is more popular. Facebook is still king among all platforms, but we all know that even there, one photo is worth more than a thousand words and videos often go viral within minutes. Marketers are finding ways to leverage these statistics to change the way in which they strategize their audience development and branding initiatives.” – J.H.

“More startup companies will start thinking of introducing their product in a non-traditional way. Instead of your standard press releases and publicity, more startups are starting to create a buzz for their product by using alternative means such as social media marking and event introductions.” — A.A.

“I’m curious to see how larger businesses will connect personal branding to talent development, regardless of role/seniority. For instance, how can we use social media to reward employees vs. policing behavior? If an employee is influential in a certain domain online, how does that translate to her current work?” — C.E.

“You’ll continue to see an influx of branding/social media efforts from companies and individuals as well. Trend wise, video/images…do the best online, so we’ll se an increase of those methods.” —A.L.

To receive additional tips on branding your business on social media, attend “Grow Your Brand” presented by Innov8tiv, Ibom LLC, MadameNoire and Social Media Week NY. Click here to RSVP for the event