The Sarahah fever continues. The Saudi Arabian honesty app which is taking a toll on everyone right now. News feeds flooding with sentences captured inside green and white boxes, depicting confessions, praises, memories of the first meeting, and yes criticisms. The messaging app which has now entered the, “5,000,000- 10,000,000” installs range, topping the list of free apps on Apple’s app store in the recent past, has its popularity soaring high. But, is the reality scintillating or is shrouded in a dark haze?
Sarahah: a boon or bane?
As per the developers’ version, it is an ‘honesty app’, where people rather the people on the friend list will send honest comments, which might include good words or constructive criticisms. But the negativity quotient is on a much larger scale with the fear of hacking all the personal information and the perfect weapon for Cyber bullying. To a certain extent signing up for Sarahah means deliberately exposing oneself to such threats.
As per the Sarahah website, “this app helps you in discovering your strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from your employees and your friends in a private manner”. In spite of this assurance, the reaction to this phenomenon is mixed. Users in favor of this are of the opinion that individuals who cannot handle criticisms should not download this app at the first place. For instance, a city based college goer is enjoying every moment as soon as a message pops up on her phone. She considers it to be her latest addiction and wants to hang on to this until the time she gets bored. According to her, “I got to know about this app from a friend. I wouldn’t exactly call it thrilling but I can sense a strange kind of new feeling associated with this. I’m getting to hear comments about myself that I haven’t heard before. Someone even said that I have attitude problem”.
So the whole point lies in revealing the unknown, i.e. the different thoughts perceived by people about yourself. Some of the users have also compared this app to the confessions pages maintained by different institutions.
The other part of the coins states the dark truth. The negative comments or the criticisms have their impacts so much, that it is leading to depression, fear, anxiety, sadness and in the worst scenario, suicidal attempts leading to deaths. One such instance is stated by Jordan Emerson where she added that ”My friend attempted suicide because of what people were saying to her over this. This app is worse than ask.fm. This needs to be taken off the app store immediately it’s not safe all it is, is a way for kids to harass others with no penalties. Whoever came up with this app was really dumb for creating it. I hope there can be consequences for the creator for allowing people to harass others to the point of someone wanting to kill themselves. Good job creator”.
Parents of teenagers being addicted to this app have strictly forbidden the use of this, assuming the negative consequences. In addition to this, the fear of hacking of all the personal information from the profile is also going afloat, in spite of assurances from the website.
City based Psychologist Dr. Jairanjan Ram have also shown concern regarding the negative impact of this app, where everyone is not so strong to handle criticisms and people might take advantages of such vulnerabilities.
Lastly, in spite of the fear of criticisms, cyber bullying, and hacking information, the popularity is gaining new heights with more and more following this trend. But as it says, all things do not stay forever so the future also might depict the presence of another app, which might be a suitable replacement of Sarahah app.Till then, let’s hope for the best!!