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Sarahah: Internet’s new self esteem meter

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Sarahah: Internet’s new self esteem meter

Last week, Davies wrote an article about Sarahah the new feedback app that is trending the Internet. If you haven’t heard about it, you can read here.

When one creates an account on the app, a web page for that user is created and other people can leave comments anonymously. The app was created in Saudi Arabia and it has since then spread like an epidemic all over. It was initially meant for employees feedback to their bosses but then the dev figured it would be good for the masses to have the tool too.

This is not the first time something is trending all over social media and I think previous events on the Internet redefine the science of popularity. So what does Sarahah mean to the masses? First of all, I can’t deny, it is a great idea and I totally can imagine it’s application in the business scene. It would specifically be a good tool in start-ups where candor is vital to the survival of organizations.

But what other avenues does Sarahah open? Studies have shown that we are a psychologically challenged bunch. Always reaching out to others and using their opinions to validate ourselves. We are like gods, feeding off the praises, likes, and opinions of others. We are all familiar with attention whoring on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Sarahah was initially meant for employees feedback to their bosses but then the dev figured it would be good for the masses to have the tool too.

I believe that this new app will and is starting to identify as an esteem meter. Anonymous comments from anyone? Couldn’t be more inviting. For how else is an insecure girl to gauge her beauty or worth other than comments from strangers? People have already started filling our timelines with screenshots from Sarahah which means that it at least carries some meaning to some people.

The problem with this kind of process is, it is a very troll friendly environment. Look at 4chan, beautifully anonymous but full of disgusting things and futuristic level of trolling. Don’t think that the trolls won’t come to Sarahah, they might already be inbound. Now, what happens to the confused lasses and lads who were seeking validation? They get called names or worse.

Don’t get me wrong, am not hating on sarahah. The idea of it was great. But does it provide a channel for cyber bullying? Yes! We might argue and say so do all other online platforms and in reality, we are right. We have been using IG and Facebook as a self-esteem meter for a long time. It is just common 21st-century behavior to shift to the latest trending gift wrapped solutions.

Ofcourse it will be useful to some people/organizations. It will also, of course, be used as a self-worth/ self-validation meter. The problem is that anonymity allows for a kind of trolling you never really see on Facebook or IG. The 4chan kind of trolling is down right ruthless and will break a few people to the core.

I am not saying that people shouldn’t use Sarahah, if you like it, do it. I have also downloaded it (though as part of a social experiment). Just don’t troll and be careful.

This article was written by Patrick Gichini and was first published on his blog decode.co.ke. 

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