Tammy Edwards or “Eyebrow Girl”, as she has been dubbed, could not have imagined one Tuesday recently that overnight she would be a household name in Barbados. She could not have imagined that the very next day that she would be losing her job of five years due to what she termed in the October 15, Saturday Sun as a “joke.”
Her graphic Instagram post following a fire drill at her workplace, however, went viral and the joke was on Edwards as for the entire weekend, the question on everyone’s lips was, did you see the “Eyebrow Girl” video?
If Edwards had known the name Justine Sacco, she probably would have thought twice about her post. But she too like Sacco fell victim to a flippant distasteful post. We could probably forgive the cashier Edwards, though, for being naive and spontaneous, but Sacco was a senior PR executive who should have understood full well the implications of her distasteful racist comment.
Justine Sacco was boarding a flight to Africa in 2013 when she tweeted “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just Kidding. I’m White”. By the time she landed in Africa 12 hours later, the post was reportedly retweeted over 3,000 times and was picked up by media outlets around the world.
The Daily Mail reported that “The blonde publicist was pictured arriving in Cape Town looking shocked and talking on her phone. Moments later, the offending Tweet and Sacco’s Twitter account disappeared – and IAC announced it had fired her.”
Her shocked expression probably matched that of Edwards at being summarily dismissed. But there are some valuable lessons to learn from Edwards’ faux pas.
1. What you post on social media personally, matter professionally. The world is judging you so you should be cognizant of this fact.
2. Profanity and racism will not be tolerated at any level online.
3. Social media is not a joke. Your reputation is on the line every time you post.
4. The world is watching you. Some people only think about reaching friends in their immediate circle when they post. However, remember your friends have friends not just in your country but around the world. The Internet has no borders.
5. We can be our own worst enemy on social media, so think before you post.
Edwards is making the most of her incident. At first “cruel” with the persons who were laughing at her misfortune, she is now thanking her supporters and has a song out in just a few days allegedly penned by Peter Ram.
I would caution against careless posting, but sometimes there can be a silver lining looming after a foul up.
Pamala Proverbs, APR, ABC