Sarahah is the new sensation in the realm of innovation. As indicated by engineers of the application, Sarahah is intended to enable you “self-develop by receiving constructive anonymous feedback.” Based on what I see on my Facebook timetable, people are really having fun with the application

On the page of any Sarahah user, you’ll find a simple prompt: “Leave a constructive message :)”. The flashing cursor, trapped in a text box, invites you to pour whatever thoughts you have about that person, good or bad, into an anonymous feed. Your deepest, most real thoughts, ready to be delivered, guilt free.

Sarahah, created in Saudi Arabia by Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, has become a full-blown fad, taking over the feeds of Twitter and Facebook. The service, named for the Arabic word for “honesty,” quickly became a hit following its launch overseas in February, with BBC reporting more than 20 million users in a matter of weeks. Following its launch in June on the App Store, it rose to the top free app. Sarahah bills itself as a way to collect “honest” feedback — a chance for friends and co-workers to offer advice, comment on your strengths and weaknesses, or frankly point out problems.

How does it work?

After downloading the app, a user must first set up an account to start receiving messages. One can share their profile across other platforms like Facebook and Instagram so people can send them anonymous messages.

There’s also a search option where users can look up new people.

However, concerns have been raised on the app promoting cyber bullying. As one user stated, “I did get a couple messages from guys that were inappropriate, but I just deleted them and blocked them.”

KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SIGNING UP FOR

Delhi-based psychologist Ankit Katyal feels that users should be ready for everything when signing up for such an app. “Sarahah is meant for honest feedback, and honest does not mean nice in any way. Youngsters expect to get only good messages that will give them something to share on social media, but [they] should be well aware of the fact that hate, too, will find its way. Bullying isn’t justified, and one can choose to stay away from the app or uninstall it when they feel it’s getting to them, but users should know what they’re signing up for,” he says.

WE ARE IN AN ERA OF HATE

Anushri Jain, a media researcher who specialises in social apps, feels that the Sarahah app is just a small part of the hate circle that is social media. “Isn’t all of the social media just the same? Hate is everywhere, and when you add the benefit of anonymity to it, it grows. People who have to bully others or call them names do it even in the open. Sarahah shouldn’t be taken too seriously and users should learn to segregate the bad from the good. There’s a lot of good that the app gives you,” she says.

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