Sarahah App Becoming Popular, May Lead to Cyberbullying

Posted at 5:36 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 14:16:27-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- It's no secret that technology has become an integral part of society. With the start of a new school year, it seems that new apps are making the rounds.

Between smartphones, their apps, social media, and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up with the latest fad and know how to stay safe.

One such app is Sarahah and is currently topping the charts in app stores.

This app originally started in Saudi Arabia as a way for employees to anonymously leave feedback about their workplace. However, in just a few short months, this has grown into a worldwide phenomena for users to receive secret messages about themselves.

While some receive nice messages, others are told things like "You think too much of yourself. Calm down!" In the wrong hands, these negative comments could become much worse and lead to cyberbulling.

Secret messaging apps and websites have been around for many,many years. In fact, when these kinds of websites first started, the internet was strictly on a desktop computer. Since then, the internet has grown and become mobile allowing people to access it on their phones.

"Now we carry the internet around in our pockets," says Warren Allen, an assistant professor within the School of Information at FSU. "We're always connected and so those messages can quite literally follow us around anywhere we go. The messages aren't new, but the ubiquity of those messages, they're always with us. Those are the unique challenges that young people face nowadays."

Apps like Sarahah are so easily available to teenagers, that it's important to talk to your kids to understand the types of apps they and their friends use, as well as cyberbullying.

By talking to teens and youth about cyberbulling, it shows that it's ok to talk to an adult or mentor if they feel they are a victim.