Changing Face of Bullying

Who, how, and what is a bully today?
Rahman Mohamed

When you think of a bully the first image that often comes to mind is the school bully, the biggest boy in the school yard who’s holding up the little guy’s collar and demanding lunch money.  There’s more to bullying than the big boy.

A bully is a blustering, browbeating person, especially one who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller.  Whether it’s the stereotypical schoolyard boy or the mean boss who makes others work over time, traditionally it refers to a single individual who makes life harder for others.  Today bullying is categorized in multiple forms.  The bully can be an individual or a group that makes life hard for someone or a group, the victim.

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You’re Not Alone in Feeling Alone

A spreading health problem: loneliness.
Rahman Mohamed

In the UK Prime Minister Theresa May created the “Minister of Loneliness”.  Studies suggest that loneliness can be as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.  Loneliness can be not being with another person.  For some loneliness is a way of life, working from an apartment and living without a roommate.

Others experience loneliness because of isolation – cut off from other people.  Some who is around or with other people but is separated and feels loneliness.  It can be physical isolation, not having anyone to be with because of where you are.  Even though you’re in a packed office you’re cut off from everyone because you’re in a cubicle.  Because the bathrooms are private the only place you talk to co-workers is at the water fountain or while you’re in line for the bathroom.  When commuting anywhere you’re on public transit and not with someone you know.

Isolation loneliness is also experienced because of exclusion, not with others because they don’t want you with them, aka the high school popularity effect that leaves you alone to suffer loneliness.  Someone who lives in Canada but doesn’t drink and know how to play hockey is left out of the weekly Saturday bar night when people talk about their week, plans, and themselves, not just Nazim Kadri and how he’s playing against Montreal. Continue reading

The Hashtag Effect

The influence of Twitter Hashtags
Rahman Mohamed
Updated 1 February 2017

Social media has been changing the world.  Today people are more interconnected than ever before; more than one person from Greenland can discuss food or politics with users in South Africa and India on Twitter; without leaving their home, seeing each others faces or even knowing their real name they know what’s happening in each others’ life.  Today a man from America can share photos with a lady from China on Facebook.  Eventually they may meet, fall in love, and marry.

Leaders of the world have recognized this.  Political and world leaders are using Twitter, interacting with each other and their Followers more than ever before.  In the 2015 Canadian Federal Election Social Media was used by political leaders and parties to reach Canadians across the Great White North.

Earlier this year, February 12, Bloomberg reported that Facebook has higher earning, users, and is used more frequently than Twitter.  On the other hand Twitter is used more often by urban and higher educated users.  It’s also used more than Facebook to stay in touch with the world.  More recently social movements have taken to social media using Hashtags – words or a phrase with “#” in front.  If you click on a hashtag you see all the public Tweets that have used it, Tweets that have included the hashtag.

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