I fell into that craze. Usually it takes me a couple of weeks (or years in the case of Snapchat) to use a new app. I don't like fads and crazes, and honestly, Sarahah just sounds like an anonymous and private version of Ask.fm or Formspring.me. I never liked these other two apps because it felt like a breeding ground for sexual harassment and cyber-bullying. In many cases, it was. Formspring.me had to completely rebrand after a couple instances of suicide and school fights based on comments posted in the anonymous Q&A site. I never thought that was a good idea. Matter of fact, the world got a little better when YikYak went off line. It promoted cowardice.
Maybe because I'm an young adult now, and am not currently being bullied, I have blinders on like the rest of my generation. It seems that Sarahah (Arabic for "honesty") seeks to target business owners and workers, but it got on the Top 20 app list (where I first saw it) in a similar way as the other aforementioned sites. I started noticing people posting their account names and results on Instagram. If it's supposed to be for feedback without fear of retribution, then why would you post the feedback to open forums for everyone to see while trying to guess who posted it? I feel that defeats the purpose. What's more, shouldn't the website promote widgets to LinkedIn in its "ShareProfile" dialog box instead of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp?
YikYak said it's model was one of crowd news reporting, with its location-based forums. It turned into harassment and jokes normally confined to fake Twitter accounts.
Although I've never needed the shield of anonymity to be honest, I understand the positive tool that it could be for others, especially when wanting to critique people such as myself. I only fear the application of anonymous forums in the age of internet trolls, cyber bullies and pride in hatred. Hate speech is still protected by free speech when it isn't tied to another crime.
Michelle Obama recently said, "The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut," while referencing a West Virginia county employee who called her an "ape" on her Facebook page. You could argue that she was not anonymous, but the effect of a face in a very large crowd is very similar to the First Lady of the United States. Let's not forget the countless times Alex Jones called her a man on his radio show.
But like I said, anonymous forums can have positive consequences when used correctly. Not everyone needs anonymity – not the outspoken nor those who tend to troll. Those are the ones who need to receive anonymous criticism. Those are the ones who need to hear honest, pure feedback about their behavior and their words. On the other hand, people who need positive reinforcement, and are plagued with low self-esteem, should NEVER seek fulfillment on social media. It'll never be enough and anonymity will always promote negative feedback.
I have a thick skin and tend to be intimidating, so below is my new Sarahah account. I will be taking both personal and professional feedback. If you'd like to submit professional feedback or just suggestions for the site, start the message with "RWQ:". I'll also post this to my About page for safe keeping.
Moral of the story: Stay woke and know who you are, but also have some fun.