I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I keep my social dealings pretty basic—Facebook for family, Instagram for friends, WhatsApp for travel. I had an extremely brief run on Snapchat until Instagram Stories became a thing and I was able to rid myself of one less app on my phone. Now under the current circumstances we're in (*enter* coronavirus), social media has become a lifeline to the rest of the world, and I'm being bombarded with multiple requests from everyone I know to join apps to connect.
While I'm grateful for a network of folks that want to make sure they see my face and hear from me, it's also overwhelming, not to mention it's taking a toll on my phone's storage. I've never TikTok'd or Marco Polo'd but now I feel the pressure is strong to keep up. My social anxiety doesn't translate well on social media either. Sharing updates on what I'm eating, where I'm going, and who I'm with kind of seems like something my mom would have begged for when I was 15, and at nearly 30, I prefer a good ole phone call or text over anything else. But quarantine life is different, because now I don't see anyone's face, ever, except for my mom who finally got her wish and knows exactly what I'm eating (whatever's in the kitchen), where I'm going (to the living room), and who I'm with (her).
As someone who has always streamlined their social media, but also wants to stay in touch, here's my take on navigating these quarantine-popular apps.
I was vaguely familiar with the video conferencing platform Zoom because prior to the world ending I was interviewing for jobs and this was the form of communication most companies preferred. It cut out having to travel to various offices around New York City and only required me to wear a blouse, most of the time paired with sweats. These meetings were usually setup by some HR executive who probably had a certification in Zoom practices, because using Zoom with friends is way trickier.
The main reason being that Zoom requires planning, therefore taking away any spontaneity out of your virtual linkup. Setting up a Zoom chat went something like this…
I sent a text asking, "Hey, who's free Thursday at 8pm for a girl's night in on Zoom?" Everyone was free as I suspected because, hello, quarantine. I texted meeting info with a note for everyone to look cute for each other. Thursday at 8:08pm no one including myself was on the call, because even in quarantine I'm running late. I texted asking if everyone is hopping on and one person replied. I logged on looking about as cute as one possibly could in an oversized tee, but luckily my pal had on the same "outfit" ignoring my previous request. We chit-chatted trying to save the tea for when our missing friend arrived, but she never did. She didn't respond until the next day because she fell asleep, probably of boredom. We rescheduled for a Zoom brunch at 2pm that Saturday. I was five episodes deep into Netflix's Tiger King trying to solve a murder when I realized it's 2:02pm. I looked at my phone, no one texted. I continued my investigation on the couch until both my friends backed out because of [insert excuse here] and I finally took a well-deserved nap after all my hard detective work. I woke up two hours later to a text from another friend I invited to join the "brunch" in a separate text thread asking what happened.
The takeaway? HR executive with Zoom certification is not in my future. Despite all the kinks I hit, I'll still be re-scheduling our linkup via Zoom. I appreciate that there's no messaging or posts to keep up with on Zoom so you can use when you want and forget about it after.
Speaking of keeping up, Marco Polo is an app that's kind of like leaving video voicemails for one person or a group. My church friend convinced me to download this when quarantine rules went into effect as a way to keep up with the other outreach team members. I was into it that week recording a greeting to the other eight members, checking in during the Sunday service live-stream and seeing my church friend's play-by-play as she watched The Handmaid's Tale for the first time, in the separate chat we started. It was all fun and games, and Jesus until a week later when I was 70 unwatched messages deep and my church pal was searching for me in our one-on-one thread. Oops!
Never-ending group chats were always a turn off for me, and essentially that's what Marco Polo becomes when it's a bunch of people. I might put off watching one message which eventually piles up into many until I feel SO guilty that I decide to put off watching any altogether. My social anxiety manifests differently and in this instance although I felt completely comfortable with my friend who initially invited me into the group, I didn't have personal relationships with the others. It just felt strange giving updates on my life to those who weren't a part of it, especially during these uncertain times when my updates aren't always cheery. I say leave the Marco Polo chats for close friends and family and if you want to continue a conversation, pick up a phone.
Houseparty is probably my favorite quarantine-trendy app for face-to-face time. I'm a 90s kid at heart and HP gives me all the AIM feels just with video. It follows the same format of letting people know when you're logged on, or in HP's case "in the house". It even takes it one step further by showing friends who log on if you're already videoing with someone which is a little invasive for me, but not so invasive if you're curious to see who is talking to who because what better way to pass the time than by cyber-stalking? You can lock your chat room if you want, but there's no fun in that.
I enjoy Houseparty mostly because of the games—trivia, Heads Up, Quick Draw and something called Chips and Guac that I have yet to try. It's much more enjoyable than just staring at someone's face if you're all talked out. I had a game night with a friend which consisted of us sipping drinks in our respective homes, he DJ'd, and we played games till I woke up on my living room floor at 3am covered in Oreo crumbs.
I should mention that at some point I snuck away from game night to munch on Oreos because that's what I do after a night out and that was the closest experience I've had to "going out" in weeks. Houseparty and tequila combined will pop any social media introvert's cherry, just save the shenanigans for a Friday night.
A phone call is still my preferred method of communication unless you think I might want to see your face (aka you're my Grandma, my BFF or trying to be my husband), but we're only a month into this quarantine thing so that might change. There's still plenty of time for me to become a Zoom certified HR exec (I'm pretty sure I made that up), to watch those 70 Marco Polo videos and reply with "LOL", and I may or may not have a secret TikTok account that will go public my next tequila-filled Houseparty chat. Or not.
Social media your own way, not because you feel it's some sort of quarantine-mandated rule. The ones that matter most will find a way to reach you.
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Jazmine A. Ortiz is a creative born and raised in Bushwick, Brooklyn and currently living in Staten Island, NY. She started in the entertainment industry in 2012 and now works as a Lifestyle Editor where she explores everything from mental health to vegan foodie trends. For more on what she's doing in the digital space follow her on Instagram at @liddle_bitt.
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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This Is Why Your Bright Under-Eye Technique Is Not Giving
If you are a fan of the bright under-eye, then you have the legendary makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin to thank. The bright under-eye is only one of the major techniques that Aucoin brought to the forefront of the makeup industry in the ‘90s. The purpose of concealing the under-eye area is to hide blemishes and discoloration, redness, dark circles, and under-eye bags. However, according to Aucoin’s techniques, its main purpose is to lift and sculpt the face adding a new level of dimension.
The bright under-eye can be difficult to achieve. These are some of the common mistakes that are holding you back from sculpted bright under eyes that are giving!
1. You are not using the correct concealer shade.
Using two concealers makes a huge difference. Start with a shade 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone. Followed by a shade that is 3-4 times lighter and placed closer to the inner eye to do the heavy lifting and give the bright effect.
Two shades diffuse well into each other and give a cohesive result.
2. You are not blending enough.
Don't underestimate the power behind a complete blend-out! Blending your concealer fully is a make-or-break step for the bright under-eye look. Fully blending allows for a seamless transition between the areas of the face meant to be highlighted, and the areas meant to create depth and shadows. So take your time and make sure there are no harsh lines.
3. You are not properly setting the under-eye area.
Set the under-eye using a loose setting powder or brightening powder. The key here is to choose a powder complementary to your skin's undertone and proper placement to prevent creasing. Focus the majority of the powder on the inner eye and defuse the remaining powder to the rest of the powder under the eye.
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