Talking Life Online With Official Cybersmile Ambassador Jake Zyrus
Jake is a great role model. Regardless of how much hate and abuse he has received online, he still promotes kindness, acceptance and inclusion. If you are affected by online abuse, follow the links within the article to access our support services.
What would you say to somebody who thinks cyberbullying or online abuse is a joke?
Cyberbullying is something to be taken seriously, no one can make an ugly joke about it. There are many people whose lives were ruined because of people whose only place to hide is the cyberworld. Men and women, young and old are all victims of cyberbullying, so no one should be playing it as joke! A simple joke like this could have an adverse effect on someone else’s life.
Have you personally been abused online? If so how did or do you deal with it?
Yes, many times. I have been the subject and topic of many netizens who enjoy hurting and bullying other people through the internet. These people have sadness and pain in their hearts, that’s why they also prey on and victimize other people. There is a saying that sad and hurt people hurt others, so I don’t mind them. I only try to respond to them positively by treating them with respect. My respect to them doesn’t mean that they deserve it because of their wrongdoing, but I just want to show them a good example.
Why do you think cyberbullying and online abuse have become such a big problem?
Cyberbullying and online abuse have become a huge problem because of the easy access for people whose motives are to destroy and hurt others. Many people find their courage to attack and abuse other people by hiding behind their screens.
What do you think can or should be done to reduce the amount of cyberbullying and digital abuse in the world?
I strongly believe that these days boys and girls tend to forget they are not socially mature. I think that we should promote values towards good relationships between people. Social and people relationships are skills that were once easy to learn, but sadly with the presence of technology and social media, people have forgotten these. While they have rights to their own opinions, they also need to be sensitive in order not to hurt other people.
What advice would you give to somebody being affected by cyberbullying or online abuse?
If you are being a topic or a subject of cyberbullying, don’t hide in the dark and let their words affect you. Their bad comments and hurtful opinions do not define who you are. Go to your friends and tell them what and how you feel. True friends are the ones who will give you encouragement and validation. Don’t let abusers define you.
How do you think longterm online abuse affects people’s mental health?
Online abuse could negatively affect people’s mental health. Sadly these kinds of abusers and bullies teach us to be more critical on others. Rather than builders we become destroyers.
What is your favorite social media platform and why?
Instagram, where I can update my fans to what I am up to while turning off comments to not allow negativity.
Do you think social media is a blessing or a curse?
Social media is both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you use it. It is a great tool to keep human relationships, and it’s very economical to connect with other people. It brings happiness to filipino families for our biggest export; our humanity. It is also a curse because it is used to abuse and bully other people. Some people use this as a tool to hate.
What advice would you have for somebody who wants to be an artist or performer online and is worried about sharing their content?
You can have the world see you in just a simple click – you should showcase your talent and let the world know who you are. No one can define and introduce yourself better than you! Don’t let other people’s envy and hate affect you.
When you transitioned from Charice Pempengco to Jake Zyrus, were you nervous about what the reaction would be online? What did you feel at the time?
Everything just fell into the right place. My team and I never planned it. It was started with the changing of my username in all social media platforms. It was started with accepting who I am and the support of my family and friends around me. I was surprised that people accepted that gradually. I am aware that some did not or will not understand. More importantly, I am just being real.
How are people treating you now?
It’s amazing that most people are getting used to calling me Jake. This means a respect coming from them. I still get hurtful words but it doesn’t matter. I just hope that they get happiness and fulfillment from it. Anyway, I don’t carry the burdens – they do.
Do you have a favorite mantra or positive saying that you use to motivate yourself?
Yes, I always believe in this golden rule – “Do unto others, what you want others do unto you.”
It’s very simple but people forget that, if you want to receive kindness then you should be kind too. If you want to have friends, then be a friend as well.
Thank you Jake for sharing your thoughts with us! If you need help with a cyberbullying or an online abuse related problem you can visit our Help Center or head to our Total Access Support section to find out how we can assist you with your problem. For more information about Cybersmile and the work we do, please explore the recommendations below.
- Who Are Cybersmile?
- People We’ve Helped!
- The Cybersmile Conversation (Allow a few moments to load, but worth the wait!)
- Twitter Introduce New Policies To Tackle Accounts That Promote Self-Harm And Suicide
- Jake Zyrus Announced As Official Cybersmile Ambassador
- Global Support Service
- Cybersmile Advisory Panel
- Everything You Need To Know About The ‘Blue Whale Challenge’
- Teenagers Guide To Cyberbullying
- Stop Cyberbullying Day
- Drake Wins Cybersmiler Of The Month Award For February
- Positive Activist Program
- Cybersmile Newsroom
- Corporate Partnership Program
- Become A Cybersmile Sustainer
What are your thoughts on cyberbullying and online abuse? Tweet us @CybersmileHQ.