Parents Guide to Sarahah
A new app, Sarahah, hit the market this summer. It has both teens and parents talking. If your teens weren’t asking about it this summer, it’s likely they’ll be asking about it now that school is back in session.
So, just in time for the school year, here’s the Parents Guide to Sarahah.
Think your teens don’t know about Sarahah? You might want to reconsider. Sarahah hit the app stores on June 13, 2017 and by July 17, it was the top app in Apple’s App Store. In fact, Sarahah has been the iPhone’s top app by downloads in 25 countries. As of August, 2017, the app has more than 62 million users. Let’s dig in and learn about Sarahah so we can talk to our teens when they ask us about it.
Parents Guide to Sarahah
What is Sarahah?
Sarahah is an anonymous messaging app that lets users send messages to other users. To find and connect with other users, you will need the link to that user’s Sarahah profile.
Sarahah also has a search feature which allows you to search for a user’s profile by the user ID or email address. The search function is pretty poor, mostly because Sarahah is an anonymous app. So, most users don’t identify themselves with an easily distinguishable user ID. This means you can’t exactly search for Jane Doe and find the Sarahah profile of your friend, Jane.
What’s the relationship between Sarahah and Snapchat?
There is no direct relationship between the two companies. Many people discuss Sarahah and Snapchat because Snapchat’s features allow Sarahah users to share both their UserID and screenshots of messages they receive with their Snapchat audience. This gives Snapchat users content, whether it be nice, funny, or even the harsh comments they receive at Sarahah to share.
How does Sarahah work?
Sarahah is a very simple app. Once you register with a username and password, you can share your profile link on any social platform and ask that people use the link to give you feedback. People can type anything anonymously and it will be delivered to you through the app.
You can also give feedback on others. You can find people to comment on by using the search function or a direct link.
How safe is Sarahah?
Users decide if they want to have their name and/or profile picture appear in Sarahah’s search. Users can also opt out of receiving messages from unregistered users. Users who don’t opt out will have their username and profile photo appear in a search. This means users who are searching will be able to find your account by email or user ID.
You can opt out by going to Profile> Settings
Is Sarahah a breeding ground for cyberbullying?
Yes and no. Remember, an app doesn’t cyberbully, a person does. It’s important we don’t give our teens the impression that the app causes their behavior.
However, we do need to recognize that if not used diligently, anonymous apps have the potential to become risky. Some reports are already showing an overwhelming number of people have indeed been using Sarahah as a tool to cyberbully others.
When we consider the usefulness of apps, we do need to begin looking at the pros and cons of anonymous apps. Using Sarahah, users have the freedom to send anonymous messages to anyone. Users aren’t able to determine who has sent them the message.
Furthermore, they aren’t really able to ask a question of their followers. Right now, the pro of the app is it gives users a way to share feedback without fear of repercussions. And, even at that, there are recent concerns from Sarahah’s practice of collecting user information, including contacts, to be used for a feature that does not yet exist.
I rarely give a yea or nay to apps in my parent guides. I feel strongly that for most families, parents are the best judge when it comes to deciding if an app is going to be a fit for their child or not. I’ve written a full Parents Guide to Sarahah for parents who decide their child will be fine using Sarahah.
However, I’ll be 100% transparent and say that I hope the information I provide encourages parents to tell their kids “no” when it comes to Sarahah.