Sarahah– Building or Breaking Self Esteem?
I am going to begin this post by saying I am not and never will be associated with this Sarahah (means honesty in Arabic) website, but I have seen some things that absolutely break my heart. What is Sarahah you ask? Here is a quote from their “About Us” section on their website
Sarahah helps you in discovering your strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from your employees and your friends in a private manner
Okay, so I am sure that no ill intent was intended when this site was started, but after seeing some screenshots from this new trend I wanted to dig deeper and find out what in the world this thing is all about. I asked a few friends who described it pretty much as a site where people can come and anonymously tell people things without having to disclose their identity. My first thought was just what another friend mentioned tonight “this is a gateway to social bullying.” I wanted to give this a shot, but honestly I do not have the courage to personally sign up for this after seeing a few posts about this site.
I dug deeper into the internet to find out what people really think of this, knowing this is targeted at teens and young adults (which makes me feel OLD) but I also wanted to know what was out there about this because I have family and friends who have kids this age. What I saw immediately was a quote from CNN that stood out “things never stay nice for long” But the built-in cue to play nice isn’t entirely working. Sarahah is already embroiled in a debate about what anonymity helps on the Internet and what it hurts.
So okay, some people say that signing up is optional and yes, it absolutely is. I am not twisting anyone’s arm and telling them to go download this thing, but I believe we need to know what the teens in our lives are up to. I feel that if someone has something to say about someone else, they should just say it to that person’s face. Maybe that is old school? Do people still do that or do they just immediately jump onto the internet and sit behind a keyboard or phone and say things?
Another thing that burns me up about this app is that you can’t answer these people. They get to say hurtful things in the name of strengthening a relationship (ummm) and the recipient can’t even say a word back unless they screenshot this mess and post it on another social media?! How is that fair? One-sided cyber bullying at its best.
Why am I so up in arms about this thing? Well, I saw someone on my own Facebook today who had something said to them and they went into a frenzy trying to find out who said it and why. It pretty much was a message to let her know she was a bad friend, or bad at being a friend. Okay, to me it sounds like the person who wrote the message was just butt hurt. There is a lot of that going around these days. Am I a good friend? NOPE, not all of the time. Do I need someone to sneak onto an app like some kind of cell phone gangster and let me know? Not at all! I am a busy wife, mom and blogger. I am not always 100% with it and I am certainly not Suzy Homemaker who has a sparkling clean home. I am a product review blogger, there are always boxes around here waiting for the next bonfire. Do my kids always have a clean face? Heck no! The 4 year old may answer the door wearing nothing but underwear and ask if you like them. I am fully willing to make these confessions about myself, but I do not feel comfortable having a person stealth message me and let me know about myself.
Parents, relatives, friends… lets band together and make sure that our preteens, teens and young adults are not being wrongfully affected by this app. I have seen the absolute worst of the worst in screenshots of this app and this is not strengthening anything but instead breaking the self esteem of the younger generation one hidden message at a time.