Indore: If you find your social media handles flooded with people sharing messages, with a hash-tag ‘Sarahah’ in minty green background, then you are one of million social networkers, bugged by the notorious application for anonymous feedback.

As claimed by its Saudi Arabian developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, the Arabic word ‘Sarahah’ loosely means “honesty” and the app has been created as a platform for ‘constructive’ criticism, which even lets users share messages on their Facebook, Twitter or other social media accounts. But, the catch is no one would know the sender of the messages. So, with the spread of ‘Sarahah’ like wildfire on social media, the anonymity on the internet has quickly turned into trolling and is often far from ‘constructive’, as there are reports of the app being used for cyber-bullying.

TINA KHATRI speaks with youngsters to find out the core of hullabaloo, as they explain the viral phenomenon weighing its pros and cons.

Negative messages may lead to depression

Such applications can work either way. While used responsibly for motivation, it is good; it can be equally demoralising to receive negative messages, especially to young minds. Having a silent admirer is positive, but negative messages can lead to depression and in some cases even provoke suicidal thoughts. I do not think it is a good idea to rely on these applications, because people tend to write negative during conflict, which further hurts others. The same trend is evident on Facebook.

TIPS FOR PARENTS

Teenagers rely more on peers for opinion, but parents can try to be open and have discussions without being judgmental

Most children cannot converse with parents because they are always advising. Therefore, just lend them an ear

Try to understand and talk logical instead of providing moral standards

Don’t disregard their feelings rather attend to it with sensitivity and logic

Be attentive about your child’s peers and whereabouts

Spend time with their friends and try not to be a parent all the time

Dr Smita Agrawal, Consultant psychiatrist

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