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The new app Sarahah is being used to spread comments about others online.

Graphic by Sarah Funk

Vivienne Francois, Staff Writer

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A new app called Sarahah is gaining popularity among students. To access it, students can attach a personalized link to their Snapchat which allows people to anonymously say whatever they want about the person who shared the link. In many situations, the app’s effects on its users have been negative.

“I feel terrified when it comes to cyber bullying anonymously,” guidance counselor Ali Ali-Ahmed said. “It brings up a lot of question marks like, who knows? Who participated? Who texted, tweeted, posted or snapchatted? Is it still out there? This can cause the victim feeling vulnerable and can lead to other severe mental health conditions.”

Not only students feel the impact but, adults are not pleased with this new trend.

“If people use the app in a bad way it should not be used at all,” freshman Kenneth Gu said.

Cyberbullying, which is the most common form of bullying, is often anonymous due to the number of social media outlets and apps that allow anonymous commenting. Many students feel cyberbullying has affected them in a personal way.

“Different social media apps can have a huge impact on others,” senior Alaina Gargano said. “In school it can be hard to cope with the thought of what has been said to you by your peers you share halls with every day, which also can affect academic performance. At home it can impact your attitude, self health and motivation. It can be hard to get past some things, which makes every aspect in your life a little harder.”

According to stopbullying.org, 44 percent of cyberbullying comments are name calling. Many of the comments made on Sarahah are made not only about the owner of the page but about other students as well.

Freshman Alison Brown, whose name has been changed for privacy, received a comment on her profile that read “Why [expletive] are you friends with [anonymous]? She’s annoying [expletive] and has no friends. And she’s ugly.” The comment left Brown shocked and confused.

“I would recommend staying out of it and to tell an adult,” Ali-Ali Ahmed said. “Do not give attention to bullies and try to support the person getting bullied as best as you can. If they’re bullying you, there’s a very high chance they’re doing it to others and it’s best to suppress that type of behavior. If you’re a witness, you should let an adult know and they will take action. The counselors at Troy high have zero tolerance for bullies, so feel free to see us in the counseling office.”

Some students can put bullying in the past yet others never seek help.

“It made me upset, but honestly if they are too scared to say it to my face it’s not the same,” Brown said. “It’s wrong and they used the app for nothing it was intended for.”

Freshman Jane Smith, whose name has also been changed for privacy, received a whole page of comments in which one read “You have a fat [expletive]”

The comments Jane Smith received have had an impact on the way she views herself.

“I felt uncomfortable in my skin and insecure,” Smith said.

Many students feel the number of anonymous apps makes cyberbullying more accessible.

“I think the use of technology increases the risk for cyberbullying because it is so easy to hide behind a screen and put someone else down instead of talking to them in person,” Gargano said.

 

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