One more Sarahah post and I’m coming to your home for something very constructive
In this week’s A Calmer You, Sonal Kalra talks about the brouhaha over Sarahah, a popular mobile application that’s a rage online.columns Updated: Aug 19, 2017 19:48 IST
If you think you’re up to speed with all things hot on social media, and you still don’t know about an idiocy called Sarahah, consider your good self to be as useless as the ‘ueue’ in queue. I mean, seriously. Who would have thought that a day would come when mobile apps would become the gateway for seemingly normal adults to display tragic proportions of lunatic aberration? Several are climbing this gateway with full velocity in my universe right now. I can’t criticise them, because you see, I’m not judgmental, but, trust you me, the last six letters of judgmental can surely be applied to those who are flaunting messages they get on Sarahahahaha or whatever this thing is called.
For those who haven’t yet been subject to the torture of those who have it, Sarahah is a mobile application that recently went viral. It allows you to create an account, and then get anonymous feedback on yourself from anyone who wants to comment on you. Anyone. And they can say anything they like about you, without you getting to know their identity. Is se toh chauraahe pe khade ho jao… if you really are in the mood to have the world take a go at you. Oh actually, the app should have been called Chauraha, instead of Sarahah. Because going by the kind of messages some, who I have the misfortune of having on my timeline, have got, it’s the tech equivalent of being given choicest of gaalis at the traffic signal when you don’t move even after 1.5 seconds of the light turning green.
Seriously, man. Sample the nuggets my ‘friends’ have got: “You have nice feet. Too bad your fatty paunch makes it impossible for you to see them”. “Finally I can tell you that your kid is ugly. Did you sleep with the demon?” “Ch*** lagta hai bol chaal mein. Chooriyan pehen ke ghar baith ja.” And the wise friends have had the wisdom to even tell the world that this is how badly they’ve been bullied by anonymous haters.
Now here are a few things, people. Dhyan se suno:
1. The app was purportedly made to give and get ‘constructive’ criticism. Most of us do not have the capacity for either of the c-words – neither constructive, nor criticism. If you can’t cope with the negativity that could come your way in the garb of anonymity, why subject yourself to the torture in the first place?
2. Some of us insist that Sarahah is a ‘fun’ way of expressing admiration towards a person we don’t have the courage to walk up to and express it. Fair enough. Those ‘some of us’ need to be 16 years old, with behavioral traits that include giggling and saying hawww at least once an hour. If you are not, don’t act like one.
3. Cyber bullying is a serious problem worldwide. While a lot of you who have latched on to Sarahah purely for harmless fun are thankfully not subjected to it, we still need to be aware about the extent of damage that personal remarks that body shame a person, or allude to his/her race, sexuality or religion can cause to their psychological well-being.
4. Using or not using an app like Sarahah is entirely your personal choice. But flooding peoples’ timelines with compliments that even you could have given to yourself may not be everyone’s idea of fun. Think before you share.
5. You may be basking in the bliss of anonymity while writing creepy messages to someone on the app but do remember the big universal truth of all things Internet: There is no such thing as secret. Yes, Sarahah promises to protect your identity, but sending threats on the app is a criminal offense, and can any day lead a government to make it legally liable for the service providers to spill the beans. Or, who knows, someone may just hack the app, and out will come the IP addresses lifting the lid off the great authors of the prize-winning love letters. Socho socho. Till then, I’ll write you an anonymous message of sympathy.
Sonal Kalra wants to start a Chauraha app. It will allow anyone to slap anyone who’s standing at the traffic crossing, thus enhancing constructive exchange of emotions, and ensuring adequate fun in the process. Registration free for early owls. Write in to firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/sonalkalraofficial. Follow on Twitter @sonalkalra
First Published: Aug 19, 2017 19:42 IST