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Je Suis Nigeria

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Why Like a post on Facebook and/ or Favourite a Tweet?




Like a lot of people in the world nowadays, I have been hooked on Facebook and Twitter for many years. I can catch up on the news on these sites much quicker than on the radio, newspapers and TV, and I can do it on the fly. Social Networking Sites (SNS) have given us a platform for communicating with one another, keeping tabs on celebrities, sports and current events, whilst allowing us to voice our opinions about anything and everything. Facebook also allows us to post a ‘status’- a group of words that may describe what we are doing (have done or will do), what our moods are like, what we are eating, and basically anything that we want to write. Facebook also allows us to post pictures, inform our ‘friends’ about our current location and ‘tag’ people who are with us or wish that are with us at any particular time. Twitter functions in a similar way, in which it allows us to connect with people, ‘tweet’ a picture and/ or a statement (limited to 180 characters) much like a Facebook status. Both Facebook and Twitter allow us to share (or Retweet on Twitter) anything that another person has posted. We can also ‘reply’ or ‘comment’ on their statuses and/ or tweets if we like, and start a discussion about any topics.

What grabbed my curiousity though is the ‘Like’ button in Facebook and the ‘Favourite’ button on Twitter. One may assume that this is to alert the person that posted a Tweet/photo/status/location/etc. that you ‘like’ their post or their tweets are one of your ‘favourites’. But is that all there is to it? Why else would such functions exist? Let me take a few guesses.

  1. To Save Time– I often ask myself, ‘Why can’t we just reply or comment that we ‘like’ what they have posted?’ Facebook and Twitter might have assumed that we are all incredibly busy and that we don’t have any time to type that clicking on a button should be enough. In addition, SNS bosses might have assumed that we don’t have time to read people’s comments about how much they liked our posts, and therefore notifications of how many ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’ our posts have should be enough.
  2. It Feels Good to be Liked– The words ‘like’ and ‘favourite’ are positive words that denote approval from other people. Knowing that somebody ‘liked’ or ‘favourited’ your post shows that people not only took notice of your post and read it, but they also took a few seconds of their precious time to click a button (they must really approve of what you posted, right?).
  3. Popularity– Having so many people ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ your post could mean that you are gaining popularity. However, arriving at this conclusion may lead to disappointment as it is not always the case.

I am still puzzled everytime somebody ‘likes’ or ‘favourites’ my posts on Facebook or Twitter mainly because there are many different reasons why people click these buttons. Although I must admit that I do not ponder on every single ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ that I receive, but whenever I post something that is very close to my heart (for instance, Autism, Special Education and Psychology), I querry on the reason why a person clicked ‘like’ or ‘favourite’. On the flip-side, I am also careful whenever I click these buttons as I don’t want to send the wrong signal.

I urge you to think carefully before clicking ‘like’ and ‘favourite’. Here’s why :

  1. Ambiguity – As I’ve said, the act of clicking these buttons mean differently to people. They may truly agree with what you have said, they might have ‘favourited’ your tweet to remind them that they need to come back and read it later, or they may simply have ‘liked’ or ‘favourited’ your post to politely say that ‘I have seen your post, but I don’t really like it‘.
  2. A ‘like’/ ‘favourite’ is not the same as approval- I know that this goes against the definitions of the words (and against number 3 on this list) but as mentioned, they mean differently to people.
  3. It does not improve the integrity of your statement- Having a popular oppinion does not mean that what you have said/ done is right. However, some people may hold this idea and therefore, we should be careful before we ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ a stupid/ offensive post.
  4. Your name will be associated with the post– This is probably the most important thing to consider before pressing these buttons. Whether you are ‘liking’ or ‘favouriting’ a joke, a political/ philosophical statement,  an expression of emotion or anything at all, be aware that your name will be associated with it and everyone will see it. We all know a news story or two about people who have lost their jobs and/ or loved ones because of SNS activities. ‘Liking’ or ‘Favouriting’ something may not be the same as actually posting it, but it shows that you approve of the post.





Should a child learn manners in school or at home?



It’s an age-old question which is often wielded around whenever there’s a case of kids gone amok, but who really is responsible for teaching kids to behave? Who is to blame when kids fight, swear, ignore or bully each other? Is it their parents (or primary care-givers) or their teachers? Or is it the children themselves?

The question is wrong

I was watching a lunchtime television programme wherein the presenters were arguing about this question. Some of them commenting that children should learn to behave ‘properly’ at home, as they spend their earliest years in it, whilst others argued that teachers should be the ones responsible since school-aged children spend most of their waking hours at school. Whilst hearing these people’s arguments, I can’t help but think that the question is phrased incorrectly. For me, the task of teaching, monitoring and changing children’s behaviour should not be assigned solely to one institution or the other. If you think about it, would you not stop your child from swearing because it’s his teachers’ job to do so? You may blame the school for not putting the effort to control such behaviours, especially if your child has learned such foul words in school, but if you do not intervene, you aggrevate the situation. Conversely, if you are a teacher and one of your students punches another child, one would expect you to stop him and give him the appropriate sanction(s).

Therefore the responsibility of teaching a child how to behave appropriately should be shared not only by the home and the school, but also by the community as a whole. In other words, the questions should be: What roles do parents (or primary caregivers) and teachers play in nurturing  children’s behaviour? 



If this model of thinking is accepted, you can take a step back and look at which of these interconnected systems is not functioning well. This way of thinking may help parents and professionals to reflect and evaluate what they are doing, and adjust their practices accordingly. In addition, it also helps stop an individual being labelled as ‘bad’.

A Healthy dose of Effective Communication

I have always believed that children’s development is influenced by the interactions between themselves, their peers, parents, schools and society. In extension, the people around the child should do their utmost to teach and model the appropriate behaviour at all times. However, there will be times when the beliefs of the home is incongruent with those of the school. Not all families agree to how a school (or society) define unacceptable behaviour. For instance, a child who is placed in detention for swearing repeatedly in the classroom may continue to do so if his parents swear in front of him.  This is when effective communication comes in handy. If schools, home and society communicate frequently and effectively, concerns may be resolved and advise can be put forward. It may take longer to resolve such a concern, but it can be done.

How Social Networking Sites helped a girl with Autism ‘come out of her shell’: Carly Fleischmann’s story

Carly Fleischmann is a young woman with Autism and is unable to communicate verbally. When introduced to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter however, Carly began to develop more friendships, communicate with more people and feel more like she is a part of society (her own words- watch the video below).

More and more people with conditions that limit their ability to communicate face to face are turning into Social Networks and online blogs. On the internet, very few social skills are needed. For instance, we do not need to look people in the eye or read their facial expressions- two of the social skills which are most commonly lacking in people with Autism. In Carly’s case, social interactions are further limited by her inability to speak. Through the medium of the internet however, all of these barriers are eliminated. Now, she is actively blogging and in the process, helping people become aware of Autism and thus inspiring others who have the same situation as she was.

For more information about Carly Fleischmann, click these links:

Carly’s Voice

Carly’s Facebook page

Carly’s Twitter page


More on Autism:

Vote for Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman

What does Autism mean?

Communication difficulties in Autism

Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper: Asperger’s Syndrome’s Poster Boy?

Guide to parents of students with ASD on coping with the first day back to school

Inspiring People with Autism:

Dr. Temple Grandin

Jessica-Jane Applegate (British Paralympian)

Satoshi Tajiri (Pokemon creator)

Autumn snaps

Having had a busy and stressful few weeks, I felt like I needed a bit of a break to recharge my ‘batteries’. This morning, I’ve decided to get out of the house and walk around Salford Quays (Manchester, England), dragging my partner along.  Since the sun decided to show up today- which is extremely rare here in Manchester, the full colours of Autumn are in display. Needless to say, today was one of the best opportunities to take some photos. Here are some of mine:

Erie Basin:

Let’s take a closer look at those trees:

Here’s my partner, taking a photo of her shoes (for Instagram? You bet!):

The Lowry footbridge, a.k.a. The Millennuim Bridge:

The sun’s rays beaming directly on the Imperial War Museum North:

Salford Quays Basin:

BBC Studios and MediaCityUK:

Seeing these Autumn colours made me feel ready to take on the challenges of the following weeks!

Jane Elliot’s A Classroom Divided: A classic lesson in prejudice

This is an old documentary about Jane Elliot’s thought-provoking exercise. In 1968, she divided a class of third-graders into two groups- blue-eyed and brown-eyed and told the children that blue-eyed people are better than brown-eyed ones. Watch what happened:



What do you think about this? What can we learn from this?

Please drop me some lines on the comment box below.

“That’s gay”: evidence for the continued existence of homophobia

Having worked in primary and secondary schools in England and Wales, I’ve had my fair share of lunchtime and breaktime duties. These times are spent supervising pupils on canteens and playgrounds, listening to their conversations and observing the way they interact with one another. One of the most striking things that I have noticed is their use of the expression “that’s gay” when pertaining to something negative. For instance, a child might say “I’ve got English next”, to which another child would reply “oh that’s gay! I have PE next”. Not only do I hear this in school playgrounds, but in adult conversations as well. People use the word ‘gay’ interchangeably with negatively charged words such as “bad”, “terrible”, etc. I couldn’t help but ask why. Is this a reflection of how we as a society see homosexuals?

According to Cox et al. (2010), society still assumes that everyone is heterosexual unless proven otherwise and that sexual minorities are seen as deviant. With gay rights activists and legalization of gay marriages in certain countries, one would hope that homosexuality is lessened substantially nowadays, but expressions such as the one mentioned still shows that people openly display homophobia and/or a negative attitude towards sexual minorities.

I know from researching this very area that we have moved on from total negativity towards sexual minority to accepting and acknowledging their existence. However, whether you are aware of it or not, using the expression in question does not help the move away from the horrible past. So please, stop using it.

What does Chris Brown, Luis Suarez and John Terry have in common? The responsibility of the famous

Recent football events involving John Terry and Luis Suarez (separate incidents) have caused a major stir in  football. John Terry was caught on camera shouting racially abusive words towards Anton Ferdinand:

People can easily make out what Terry shouted towards Ferdinand. This incident caused John Terry to be stripped off the England captaincy, and is still being investigated. In a separate incident, Patrice Evra of Manchester United claimed he was also racially abused by Liverpool’s Luis Suarez in their match last year. This resulted in an 8-match suspension for Luis Suarez. However, in Liverpool and United’s match a few weeks ago, Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand during the start of the game, causing the issue to remain unsettled:

Also recently, Chris Brown was slammed after winning a Grammy for the Best R&B Album (F.A.M.E.) and being nominated for both Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, on top of being allowed to perform in the said awards show. People’s anger stems from Brown’s domestic abuse case against Rihanna which occured only a few years ago (disturbing details from official court documents available here).

These incidents highlights the responsibilities of these famous people. They must realize that day in, day out, they are in the public’s eyes. People search for their videos, pictures and the latest news about them. Every action should be calculated and precise because people of all ages from all over the world, thanks to the internet and the media, can know what they are up to. Whether they like it or not, they are role models. I am not saying that we all do everything that these celebrities and sports people do. However, I cannot deny the influence they have towards our choices. Otherwise, why put them in commercials? Terry and Suarez represents not only their teams’ ethos and pride, but also the whole of football. Similarly, Chris Brown represents hiphop and is a part of the whole music business.

What they’ve done is terrible and shouldn’t be done ever again. But I do believe that all of them deserve a second chance. There is no doubt that I am angry with each of them. No one should ever be allowed to beat up another human being, let alone your romantic partner. Nobody should get away with racially abusing someone else, regardless of whether the whole world is watching or not. But we all make mistakes, small or big. Yes, Terry, Suarez and Brown should know that they shouldn’t have done what they have but the damage has been done. I just wish that they have learned from their experiences.

People will always remember what these three have done to tarnish their reputation. It is up to them whether or not they want to win their fans (and the whole world) back and how they will do it. It is also up to us to give them a second chance. People should remember that we have a choice of whether or not we continue watching Terry and Suarez’s games, Brown’s concerts and whether or not we continue buying Brown’s records. I just hope that other celebrities and sports personalities learn from these mistakes.