I count myself lucky that the internet was in its infancy when I was a kid. Cyberbullying wasn’t something I had to deal with. Now, even though I don’t have kids of my own, it’s a a topic that regularly comes across my timeline, most often as news stories of another child pushed to suicide because of a relentless barrage of online abuse.
Reading those stories, I cry. I feel connected to those kids, because I remember vividly how it felt to be bullied, to feel threatened, to feel scared and alone and weak because of it. And I wish there was something I could do. And now, thanks to a new emoji, there is. We can show them we are witness. We are with them.
Moonbot Studios, who memorably made the Oscar-winning short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, has teamed with the Ad Council to create an interactive animation showing how the emoji can be employed. Below, you can check the trailer. But for the full effect, go to I Witness Bullying’s website, where you can also get the emoji for free.
It might seem like a small thing. But imagine being that kid, hounded on Facebook and Twitter, and seeing this icon. It could be a crucial signal to that kid that they have support out there. That they are not alone.
Kristy Puchko had gigantic glasses way before they were cool. Because her eyesight is very, very poor.