What’s the Big Deal with Sarahah?

As someone who is never up on trends, I recently saw the app called Sararah and wondered what it was. It is, according to all the research I’ve done, an app that allows people to anonymously send messages, in the name of constructive criticism. Because that always ends well.

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The origin of the app was for employees to send anonymous feedback about their employers and management, without fear of retribution. A good idea, in theory. Users said they wanted to know what their friends and family thought of them, and thus was born the app, a social phenomenon that’s going to implode in a big way.

“Sarahah” supposedly translates roughly to “honesty.” People sign up for the app because they want honesty from their friends, or at least, that’s what they claim. What they really want is honest compliments and declarations of love from people who would be too shy to say anything in real life. But what are they going to get?

Hate mail. Obviously. They’ll get nice comments from the people who would give them nice comments to their face, and they’ll get racist slurs, body shaming, and other insults with varying levels of creativity from people who now have no fear of retribution.

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Even if the app was used for what it’s supposed to be used for—constructive criticism—it’s still going to fail. People don’t take constructive criticism well. I’ve sat through enough creative writing workshops to know that even when you’re talking about someone’s work, and you’re doing it in a gentle, helpful way, they’re going to get mad. They’re going to start crying. They’re going to shut down. They’re going to make it personal and start attacking you.

But hey, this is online. You don’t have to see that. So you don’t have to tailor your words. Straight up honesty. That’s what people want, right?

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If you truly want honesty, ask for it. But don’t paint a target on your back and then get offended when people start throwing things at you. And if your friends won’t be honest with you, even when you ask them to be, then maybe you need better friends.

I just wonder how many people will have to die before this app gets shut down.

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