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SARAHAH EFFECT

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Sarahah is a nice ring to the ears! A sound which unravels you and makes you wander where did it ring from? It’s a proven fact and history beckons that whenever you give people a mask they rise up with the most unseen of faces and Sarahah is no exception.
In 1974, a Russian woman named Marina Abramović did a life threatening experiment. At a gallery in Belgrade, Serbia, she placed certain items on a table and invited the public to use them on her in any way they saw fit. Some of the items were benign; a feather, some olive oil, roses. others were not. “I had a pistol with bullets in it, my dear. I was ready to die when someone pointed it at me.” At the end of six hours, she walked away, with stains of blood and tears in her eyes, but alive. Such is the reaction from people when you stop reacting! Sarahah is slightly different because it provides a veil to the reactors whose identity is protected by this online app. No wonder the recipient on Sarahah is susceptible to even more blatant outpours from their circle of people including family, friends and acquaintances. The identity remains hidden.
 
Sarahah exposes the power of anonymity and how the classic version of a bully changes from being restrictive to being penetrative. This penetration is of the most dangerous and detestable kind. It uncovers the deepest corners of the human mind when its enchained in shackles by the society, esp. social institutions. We all have an imaginative mind which keeps simmering inside the kiln and Sarahah  just gives it a vent to blast out.
 
For some there is actually a positive way of looking at Sarahah too. those who consider themselves introverts feel that they can speak out their hearts to those they want to express their love for but the question remains – how will this love materialize if you do not reveal your identity? Many youngsters in the corporate arena feel that Sarahah is amazing because they can tell their bosses/peers how good/bad they are which they are mostly not able to express face-face. In this way, Sarahah, proves to be a great equalizer doing away with hierarchy and privilege, making each user as vulnerable as the next.
 
Sarahah’s appeal seems to be  two fold. For many leaving a message anonymously is a big pull. In a world that compels us to prove our identities in a variety of ways, anonymity feels like a breath of fresh air. And anonymity divests one of any accountability or responsibility. And then there are people who are curious (sometimes morbidly so) about what others are thinking about them. What is interesting how all this interaction is shaping or moulding the perception of “SELF”. Sometimes pleasantly so. At other times its a rude awakening. We willingly let the anonymous others make a judgement about us and if they are so inclined take potshots against us. This has taken many amongst us on a path of introspection which we never had time for!
In a world where we all find paucity of time and feel stressed using innumerable apps, only time can tell if Sarahah is there to stay or is just brouhaha!
—-With inputs from Heena Sharma and Amelia Andrews

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        Find out more about her campaign here.

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