The Sarahah App: Is it worth all the hype?
Good news trolls! The Sarahah app is the perfect tool to address people online anonymously.
The application is the latest online sensation that allows people to send messages to others anonymously.
This means users can receive and send messages or feedback to and from each other anonymously.
The app is not exactly the first of its kind but it seems to have been received well as there are over 10,000 downloads on the Play Store.
The app was developed by Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, a Saudi Arabian. Keep in mind that Saudi Arabia does not exactly embrace the idea of free speech. That was probably the inspiration behind it.
Initially, the app acted as a platform through which employers could provide honest feedback to their employees. The use later went beyond workplace feedback and that is how it became an overnight hit in various parts of the world.
Sarahah app a constructive feedback platform or otherwise?
Sarahah is the Arabic word for honesty and this explains why the app has been baptized the ‘honesty app’.
Concerns have, however, been raised over the app since some say that it has become a platform that propagates and advances sexual advances, insults, and outright bullying.
The app is perceived, by some, as a platform through which social norms are thrown out the window. That Sarahah app is a prime example of a platform that gives people a chance to say things that they would otherwise reserve to themselves.
Others have also questioned why someone giving ‘constructive feedback’ would enjoy anonymity. Of course, not everyone takes feedback kindly but if it is coming from a good place, it does not make sense to hide behind a keyboard. In any case, some feel that criticism is not exactly always news to the recipient.
The worst part yet?
The process of monitoring and screen content is not robust. While Tawfiq promises that his team is very strict about screening content, users still have an upper hand.
In case your memory is intact, you may recall that Secret, YikYak, and Whisper apps were all based on giving people feedback and ratings, but it was not long before they ran into problems. There was widespread bad-mouthing. They did leave a bad taste in people’s mouths.
The only difference between these apps and the Sarahah app is the concept of anonymity. While the former gave hints as to who may have given the feedback or ratings, the Sarahah app observes absolute anonymity.
The app is like a mask that allows people to reveal their ugly self. It is a perfect platform for sadistic people who derive pleasure in hurting and harassing others.
To be fair, we cannot say that the app cannot serve any constructive purposes. No, that would be one-sided. The idea is that the potential for misuse is evident. People have, in the past, abused anonymity.
It is said that numbers do not lie and in this case, the number of downloads and positive reviews for the Sarahah app paint it as a good concept.
As to how soon the hype will die, history shows that there are several other apps that went viral before kicking the bucket. For this one, the future may look bleak but we can only wait to see.