What is Sarahah?

Sarahah is becoming a very popular app, and it’s important for adults working with youth to understand it.

You’ve probably been seeing people download and use the Sarahah app and are wondering why everyone is downloading it and what it is. Sarahah is an application geared towards helping people discover their strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from others in a private manner. According to “Sarahah: Four things you should know about the popular app” by USA Today, it has been the current top app download in iTunes since July 17, 2017.

Michigan State University Extension has three pieces of information all parents, adults and volunteers working with youth should be aware of:

  1. Even though Sarahah is geared for adults, there is no age verification when you create an account, which means anyone can create an account no matter their age. Youth love to try out all the new apps and by no means is this app geared for them.
  2. Teens are using this app to pass anonymous digital notes to others, and as you would think, anonymous commenting can very quickly and easily turn to be cruel and inappropriate. Everyone finds it very easy to say things when it is anonymous, but always remember if you can’t say something to someone in person, you should never say it to them behind a phone or tablet.
  3. When thinking in terms of youth development and positive youth development, youth are not always ready to hear the feedback they could get from others. Depending on the feedback youth receive, it can be taken the wrong way and very easily turn into cyberbullying.

Adults need to have conversations with youth about Sarahah and the online anonymity used in the app, which can lead to cyberbullying. Remind youth they shouldn’t say something online to someone if they wouldn’t say it to their face. You should also talk to youth about how they would feel if others said certain things to them, so to think before saying something anonymously to another person.

Youth are drawn to test out new apps, so it is important adults be aware of the upcoming apps so they can help youth understand why an app may not be the best choice for them. Technology changes, apps come and go, and the next in social media platform will come about, but that doesn’t change the basic principles of privacy, security and safety. Adults should continually remind youth that nothing ever goes away nor is considered fully private once it is posted to a social networking platform, and it can come back to haunt them in the future.

Read these MSU Extension articles for more information about helping youth with social media:

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