Achievements

‘Cyberbullying can be a scar on an individual’s psyche’

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Nia Meghan Lobo

Nia Meghan Lobo (14), author of Shadow which is available on Wattpad, shared her inspiration for writing a book on cyberbullying and the challenges that she faced. She also talked about the cyberbullying that the young generation is facing, particularly during a pandemic.

Tell us something about yourself?
I am like any other teenager my age who enjoys watching shows and reading. I love playing sports such as basketball and swimming. I am in class 9 and studying at Apeejay School International, South Delhi. I was born in Bengaluru and have been living in Delhi for the past year

What inspired you to write a book at this young age?
I have always wanted to write a book or at least try to write one and the SAA (service as an action) was just an excuse to do so. It was also a perfect way to spread awareness in a heart-warming and interesting way since a story can truly explain the emotions a victim of cyberbullying goes through. I picked the topic of cyberbullying because during the pandemic, there has been a drastic increase in the number of people using gadgets and the internet. This also means that there is a higher chance of people being cyberbullied and getting hurt through the internet.

How dangerous is cyberbullying?

It is very dangerous as it can scar an individual mentally and emotionally, provoking self-doubt and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, etc. In a study done recently, we can see that 21% of children from ages 10 to 18 have experienced cyberbullying and 51% of these reports occurred from January to July 2020 (during the Covid pandemic)

Would you like to take more such initiatives to create awareness about cyberbullying?

I would love to do that.  In fact, next year I plan to do services that relate to this and self-love in general as victims shy away from asking for help when faced with these type of problems. Some of them even blame themselves which is alarming and not good at all. Hence I would like to lend a helping hand to comfort, console and help them out of these situations.

How did your parents, teachers, and friends react to the book?

The people around me help make this happen as writing a book is definitely not that easy. I spent hours and hours writing which calls for a lot of hard work and determination. My parents and teachers pushed me to continue and helped me understand and work through the challenges I faced along the way. My supervisor helped me filter my thoughts and ideas and helped me every step of the way.

How challenging was it to jot down everything in a book?
This was not just about a book. The book itself would have taken a month but this was a service that needed me to collect information and plan things through, research and develop it. So, it took one year to finish.

Has Apeejay helped you in the process?
Definitely, my teachers and supervisor gave me the freedom to do things my way and at the same time helped me stay on track and learn important things along the way.

The message you would like to give to all the youngsters using the internet?

 I would say that the Internet is like a fire. It can be used for good and to spread love, happiness, entertainment, information, and knowledge but it can also be used as an outlet for hate. So, please be careful and be kind to those on the internet and in real life. We are not aware of what triggers someone or hurts someone the most. We can’t just take out our frustration and hate out on someone as they themselves are human and could be going through the same thing. So, please be nice to others and yourself.

“Once my book was published, I felt relieved and happy. I had accomplished such a task, I was proud of myself but I still have plenty to learn

-Nia Meghan Lobo

Asst Editor ( Newsroom ), who has an experience of a decade in core journalism. Credibility, courage, timelines and media ethics are some of her professional traits.You can reach her at: [email protected]

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