Constructive Criticism or Cyberbullying?

November 9, 2020
November 9, 2020 Natalie Higgins

Recently, my newsfeed has been flooded with information regarding the app Sarahah. So, what exactly is this app and why is everyone talking about it? Sarahah, which translates to “honesty” in Arabic is an app that allows others to anonymously post messages without any backlash. Once a message is sent to you, you are unable to provide comments or see who sent you the message.

iTunes description for the app indicates it is a private way to help its users receive information about their “strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from [their] employees and [their] friends”.

Several questions are raised when thinking about continued use of this app: Is it beneficial to give and receive constructive criticism anonymously or does it teach society that they no longer have to communicate honestly with others face-to-face? Does it make a person more confident with an increased self-awareness or are we setting people up have increased feelings of depression?

The answers to these questions are quite complicated and there are different opinions on the topic. Some may say it might be helpful to receive feedback about yourself, while others may feel it is harmful to someone’s self-esteem.

According to an article published on inverse.com which gave some positive feedback on the app, organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich, indicates that all people are capable of learning to obtain feedback from others. She states, “The people who are willing to be brave enough to do the work and make that commitment and question themselves are immensely more successful, happier, and confident.” On the other hand, current research demonstrates cyberbullying has substantial emotional and social consequences. On a blog post by Penn State, it was noted that “30% of individuals who were cyber bullied turned toward self-harming behaviors and began having suicidal thoughts”. 

Providing and receiving feedback are part of life; however, providing false information with a malicious intent is never appropriate. Be kind to one another.  “Never look down on anybody unless you are helping him up” – Jesse Jackson.

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Natalie Higgins

Natalie Higgins

My counseling approach is warm, empathic, and down to earth. I find that by focusing on ones strengths, I am able to help them increase their self-awareness and transform their relationships. I specialize in treating adults and adolescents experiencing anxiety, anger and substance use issues. In addition, I provide supervision for LPCAs and LCASAs...Learn More