A new anonymous-messaging app has taken the world by storm but it might be doing more harm than good
12 September 2017| Last updated on 12 September 2017
‘Sarahah,’ also known as the truth app, has taken the world by storm. This anonymous-messaging app was launched in June 2017 by Saudi Arabian developer Zain Alabdin Tawfiq. It became popular after he asked one of his friends, an influencer on social media, to share it with his following. Thereafter it quickly took off and became viral. It is currently one of the most popular free apps in UK, Canada, France and the United States.
The application is especially popular in Saudi Arabia because of their strict laws against freedom of speech. Saudi citizens are now able to say how they really feel about people without bearing the repercussions of their words.
The application was originally meant to be used to give feedback anonymously in the workplace but after taking off, and creating the add-on to Snapchat, it managed to engage an audience that they weren’t planning for: children, teenagers and young adults.
Image credit: Corsicana Daily Sun
After creating your profile, you get a link to share with others where they can anonymously tell you what they think about you.
People are always interested in what other’s think of them, whether this be for personal growth, validation or just to confirm a belief about themselves. Sarahah is feeding this need of people but things are busy turning sour. Being able to post anonymously to anyone on the app, it is much easier to be very blunt and mean.
This has created a platform for cyberbullying while easily being able to hide behind the mask of anonymity.
Not everyone has the emotional maturity to simply scrub off negative comments aimed at them, especially not children. Cases have been identified where people have become clinically depressed because of the messages they received on the app and a woman in Mangalore even decided to commit suicide because of the messages that she was receiving.
It is possible to control who you receive messages from to some extent but parents will have to use their own discretion. App stores and reviewers are recommending that Sarahah is only appropriate for ages 17 and older.
Parents are advised to frequently check their children’s phones. Look at their online activities like what they are searching for and participating in. It is also important to monitor what they are sharing on social media. Nowadays it is becoming more and more difficult to protect your children but small precautions and changes can make the world of difference.