Sunday, October 1, 2023

Social Media and Me: The Azalea Banks Story.

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( Social media a beautiful thing isn’t it? The ability to connect with people all over the world is amazing. There are so many things we can do with this relatively new form of communication. And while there is a lot of good that certainly can and has come from social media, the bad sometimes outweighs said good.

As with anything, there are dangers involved in the availability of free access to new things and one of the biggest points of conflict that comes with social media is the over sharing factor. In fact, over sharing can turn into many things when sitting at the keyboard looking at a computer or swiping on a cell phone. Tone is not always taken into consideration when communicating via social media. Sometimes words are received out of content and meanings misconstrued.

With that, let us all take a cue from rapper Azalea Banks’ recent 2016-azealia-banksTwitter beef with Disney Star Skai Jackson and singer Zayn Malik. Banks, who is more known for the controversy she starts than her music, painted herself in a bad light with the verbal attack on Malik and subsequent “roast” of Jackson. In fact, she came off as a bully and totally inappropriate. The thing about it too, after her comments and behavior got her suspended from Twitter, she went on Instagram to harass Jackson, who is only 14 years old. Oh, how bold we become when the bad mouthing happens in cyberspace.

The woman damaged what little reputation she has/had in the music industry. Immediately she was dropped as a headliner for a UK music festival, clearly a blow for her being that she hasn’t made any real progress in America with her music. Banks’ constant need to “tell it like it is” continues to sideline her efforts of being a viable artist.

We cannot use social media as a place to be mean and racist and ugly. Okay, let me rephrase that, because all those things are exactly what people do. We SHOULD not use social media as a place to be mean and racist and ugly. Folks are watching what you do. I know you are a grown “blank” woman, but do you know the countless number of individuals who have sabotaged their career prospects because of their online behavior?

Black women have come too far to let some vent, rant or unnecessary comment get in the way of going to the next level. Even if you have some kind of fame, it still doesn’t give you the right to say whatever you want. Unless you are on Beyoncé or Jay ‘s level, it’s probably a good idea to censor yourself. They don’t even bring drama to their social media accounts.

I know this may seem prudish or maybe even petty, but Azalea Bank’s violation of effective social media etiquette and the subsequent consequences should be a guide by which we gauge what’s okay and what’s not. Who wants to lose all the hard work they’ve put into a project, brand or endeavor because of one or two misguided social media posts?

It’s not worth it in the end. Don’t fall victim to your own need to enlighten the world with your thoughts.

Staff Writer; Rasheda Abdullah

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