Introduction

“The mystery of the Cyber Friend” by Zac O’Yeah is a very informative lesson highlighting the dangers of using the internet and chatting with strangers on social media. The story is divided into two major sections.

  1. The first section deals with Shree’s online friendship with a stranger named ”Chaitra”, who pretends to be a girl of her age.
  2. While the second section deals with the exposure of the stranger’s reality at the Katpadi Junction.

Shree, a Brilliant Child

Shree is the protagonist of the story who was about to invite troubles to herself but was fortunately saved at the end because of her sincerity and idea of consulting her senior family members. Shree lived in an apartment with her parents and an aunt in Katapdi, Vellore. Her father was a taxi driver while her mother worked in a jewellery shop.

Shree was appreciated by her parents for not only using the computer but also trying to gain knowledge from it. She used it efficiently for her projects purpose as well as to send e-mails. Shree used to chat with her school friends on “Friend Net” but one day she was disappointed with them as they commented on her excessive eating habits so she removed them from her friend list.

Friendship with Chaitra

Then a user named “Chaitra” with a beautiful display picture, requested Shree on “Friend Net”. Shree was very delighted as she felt a sense of true friendship with the stranger. She continued to chat with Chaitra and on enquiry she came to know that Chaitra was studying in a school, which was near to her school.

After some time, Chaitra came online and asked Shree to send her selfie and phone number to which Shree replied in a sad note that she did not have a camera phone. On this Chaitra assured that she would give her own camera phone to Shree on Sunday at the railway station.

All these activities was suddenly noticed by Shree’s aunt, who immediately investigated Shree and her online friend. Shree’s aunt was astonished as the profile picture of Chaitra was of the famous heroine, Madhoo. Shree was too worried because neither Chaitra had her real photo on her display picture nor she studied in any school.

Suspicion about Chaitra

Shree texted Chaitra that she liked the earing in her profile picture to which Chaitra replied confidently that she made them on her own and she would wear it and come to meet Shree only if she comes alone at the station. Shree was unable to focus on her homework because the thought of Chaitra and her false information was continuously haunting her.

Being honest, Shree informed everything to her aunt about the suspicion that she had regarding her online friend. They both decided to reach the station with a secret plan to enquire about the stranger. Shree’s aunt informed the station manager and waited to see who would approach Shree.

Chaitra was a Man!

A man of Shree’s father age came and convinced Shree to be his friend. Shree’s aunt hit the man with her handbag. The station manager immediately came to catch the man, but he disappeared into the crowded train. Shree and her aunt went to the police Station, where the policewoman praised them and asked Shree to put up a poster about Cyber Security in her school.

Next day, a cyber crime officer investigated Shree’s phone and found out that the man who pretended to be Chaitra lives in Bengaluru and he had been trying to befriend many young girls and boys on social media. After all the frightening adventures, Shree could not wait to tell her friends about the unfortunate incidents that happened to her.