NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – If you are an active social media user, you have probably seen people rave about a new app that allows you to ask random people questions or leave comments while remaining anonymous.
Sarahah – which means ‘honesty’ in Arabic – is a social media app developed by Saudi Arabian developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq with the purpose of helping organizations receive candid feedback on their services. It has however spread to personal use and has been downloaded over 300 million times since its launch earlier this year.
According to Sarahah company website, the app helps managers get honest feedback from coworkers, customers and friends.
“At work, Sarahah enhances your areas of strength and strengthens areas of improvement. With your friends, it improves your friendship by discovering your strengths and areas for improvements and lets your friends be honest with you.”
In essence, users get their own personal webpage on which others can anonymously write messages to them, without knowing who wrote them. According to Sarahah, the messages should ideally be positive, “like a personal suggestions/compliments box at a restaurant, but you know, for people,” writes Buzzfeed.
To get people to connect with you, one only needs to share their Sarahah link – which is obtained after signing up – on other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
You however cannot reply to messages sent to you. Additionally, you do not need an account or to be friends with someone to write to them.
The anonymity that comes with sending messages however creates a lot of room for cyber bullying.
“While people being cruel to each other online is nothing new, the anonymous nature of the insults some users claim to have received makes it a bit more sinister,” Metro UK writes.
Others have deemed it to be the worst social media app launched yet.
“Sarahah is a perfect application for two kinds of people – for narcissistic people who believe that the world revolves around them and for sadistic trolls who get pleasure out of abusive and harassing people online,” India Today wrote on its review of the app.
Users have had different thoughts about it. On the Google Play Store review section, Jordan Emerson – a reviewer-, says; “My friend attempted suicide because of what people were saying to her over this. This app is worse….it needs to be taken of.”
Another user, Mithun Kuniyil says, “great concept. I think it will be good if guys can provide a reply option to every message.”
On Facebook, most have shared the positive messages they received on the app. However, only a few have been bold enough to share the negative sentiments they received.
“I want to be with you but I wonder how to tell you,” one user shared the message she received on her Facebook page with the caption, “Feeling loved.”
“With all the expensive food on Instagram but you look malnourished like Chiloba…bye,” another boldly shared with the caption, adding that it’s “time to uninstall this ego crashing app.”
Should you join the app then? If you are unaffected by negative comments people may write about you, then by all means do so.
If not so, stay away, “the appeal is the tension. It’s Russian roulette for your ego. Most likely you will get some pleasant comments, but only if you take the risk of getting that soul-crushing loaded chamber,” as Buzzfeed says.
But as a user noted on Facebook, “If you don’t have the audience, it’s okay to take a pass on Sarahah. No need to send yourself questions fam.”