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Sarahah app: the psychology behind it

It’s time we spoke about Sarahah app. Yes, everyone’s talking about. Love it or hate it, people have started embracing the app in a bid to know how others are feeling about them. We’ll delve deeper into the psychology behind Sarahah app a bit later. Now, let’s focus on what the app intends to do.

“Sarahah helps people self-develop by receiving constructive anonymous feedback” a line on the Google playstore link of app reads. The app essentially provides a platform for people to post anything anonymously about a person.

The app is a hit for one obvious reason: we all want feedback and good things to be said to us, but fear asking or soliciting opinion from others. This app is a nice middle ground in that regard. It promises anonymity.

Psychology behind the success of Sarahah app

Why do we like others talking about us? Why is there a need to know what others are thinking about us? Why are we silently hoping for compliments from strangers? It helps massage our ego, satisfy our narcissistic needs and build our self-esteem. But that is just one part of it.

We need to understand the concept of ego to get a grasp of this. How we see ourselves is largely based on how others view us, isn’t it?

Write down five things about yourself. And how many of these words have been told to you by others? Our sense of identity largely based on how others view us. The views of some are much more powerful in shaping our views.

Or, as philosopher Alan Watts puts it, “Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself. Just as the word “water” is a noise that symbolizes a certain liquid without being it, so too the idea of ego symbolizes the role you play, who you are, but it is not the same as your living organism.”

Coming back to Sarahah app. The app basically helps in reinforcing or creating a new symbol of ourselves. The symbols of what we think we are, what we should be, what we’d like to be. We resist change but why are we so keen on receiving feedback?

The answer to that lies in the fact that it’s anonymous feedback.

Sarahah and anonymity

Anonymity makes sure that we focus on the content and not the person who says it. Most of times, we are influenced by how it a message is said and who said it. In the process, ‘what is being said’ always takes a back seat. Now remove the parts of ‘who said it’ and ‘how it was said’. Now, what remains is ‘what is said’.

Given all these features, it has also become a tool for bullying and stalking others. One of the main problems of anonymity is it gives people no sense of consequences. There are reports of people bullying others using the app or using the app to stalk people.

Are you using the app? What made you install the app and use it? How has been you experience so far? If not, are you planning to use it? We’d love hear from you. Tell us your perspective on the issue.

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