Secretive apps risk emotional health
September 29, 2017
In the age of social media, anonymity becomes increasingly difficult. However, Summer 2017 brought a new app that allowed people to remain 100% anonymous: Sarahah.
“People are more honest,” sophomore Sawyer Lownsdale said. “It’s interesting to hear what people think or say.
Sarahah is an app that allows users to post anonymous statements on other’s accounts through the other popular social media platform, Snapchat.
“I think it depends on what you want out of it,” senior Daniel Kattan said. “Some people want the positive reinforcement and others take advantage of that in a negative way.”
Some feel that when apps allow people to remain anonymous, that it becomes a place for mean comments to be shared and increases the likelihood of cyberbullying.
Dr. Amanda Rose, MD, a developmental psychology professor at Mizzou, believes that the anonymous apps “could be very emotionally damaging to teenagers.”
Rose’s concern is that the person who is receiving negative comments does not know how to defend themselves if they do not know who posted the information.
“I think the whole thing is stupid,” junior Emma Barnes said. “If you’re going to say mean things, say it to my face.”
Not all users received negative comments. Kattan said that all of his responses were positive such being nice or funny. That wasn’t the case for everyone though. Specifically, junior Peyton Douglas saw negative comments about her relationship and her friends.
“It wasn’t even about me, it was about the people I hang out with,” Douglas said. “Honestly I didn’t really care, they’re just hiding behind their phones.
Senior Venkatesh Satheeskumar only used it once, and really disliked it.
“People these days want to hear things more in social media,” Satheeskumar said. “People in this age want everything on their phone.
Sarahah was also a trend on the App Store, which is a way some students discovered this anonymous app. According to DMK Stats, as of the beginning of August, there are 15 million registered users that use Sarahah. The United States is also the most popular country for Sarahah members stated by DMK Stats.