Cyberbullies may lurk behind the screen, but with strength and support from those around us, we can overcome them.
Cyberspace: For everyone and no one
One of the best things about the internet is the ease of socialisation – it allows us to connect with our friends and family, play games online with them, form communities on social media, the list is endless.
While the internet is for everyone to enjoy, users can easily pretend to be no one. The internet also shrouds us in a veil of anonymity. While this can serve to be useful in certain situations – such as giving anonymous feedback to a service you found online – some users manipulate this anonymity for unkind purposes. These users are called cyberbullies.
In the fourth installment of the Plano Adventures series, Attack of the Cybugs, the Cybugs that lurk in the shadows of the Wood Wide Web, taunt and jeer at anyone who passes them. When Professor Plano, Zed, and Zee took an innocent short walk through the wood wide web, the Cybugs emerged and ruined their walk by hurling nasty words at them. It left the trio shaken, unable to fight back, until a special hero leapt to their rescue. Cybugs are just like cyberbullies. They take any opportunity to criticise and mock others online for no apparent reason. This leaves their victims in a state of helplessness.
The weight of our words and actions
Cyberbullies use their words and actions to hurt others and the feelings of pain they inflict can linger. According to a report published in Singapore, 3 in 4 students have admitted to being a victim of cyberbullying. As a consequence of cyberbullying, victims have reported to exhibit lower self-esteem, heightened anxiety, and even depression.
And while there are words and actions that exist to crush others, there are also words and actions that uplift and help others too. If you know anyone who has been a victim of cyberbullying, encourage and console them. Knowing that they have a firm supporter and friend will go a long way in helping them cope with the situation.
Moreover, it is paramount that the situation is presented to a trusted adult like a parent or a teacher. Cyberbullying is a serious issue and in some countries like Canada and the United Kingdom, there are legal laws present to protect victims of cyberbullying.
Finding your power
At the end of Attack of the Cybugs, Professor Plano, Zed, and Zee gather their friends to encourage them to be brave and use MyPower to overcome the bullies. It is within each of our power to ignore the hurtful words of the bully and surround ourselves with the people who love and care for us. After all, we find strength in support, and with the support from our community we can overcome any adversity.
If you would like to purchase Attack of the Cybugs, or any of the other 4 books in the series, you may find them in Singapore at Kinokuniya, Times Bookstores, and at Popular. Alternatively, buy them online on Amazon or Book Depository.