What Grinds My Gears: Sarahah


Jazmine Baehr, Op/Ed Columnist

Welcome back to school everyone! For all of our new Yellow Jackets out there, this is a weekly column in which I talk about things that piss me off … Enjoy!

Now for all of our friends returning to the hive, you already know I am pissed off by something different virtually everyday, and today is no different. Seeing how we are two weeks into the semester and not to mention the entire summer we’ve been apart from one another, it should come to you as no shock that I have a plethora of topics to write about.

Let’s jump right in shall we? This week I am going to talk about another idiotic online trend that I’ve been witnessing over the past month and a half or so … Sarahah.

Sarahah is a website/app originally created in Saudi Arabia that was designed for employees to leave feedback for their coworkers and boss anonymously. Sounds like a pretty sound idea right…? WRONG, because once the designer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq decided to open up the app to everyone in the world, it became essentially a reincarnation of the dreaded mistake of website that I’m sure left thousands of middle/high schoolers in tears at one point or another … FORMSPRING!

Yeah, I’m sure most of you just cringed when you read that name. For all of you who don’t know about Formspring, it was a website that popped up when I was in like sophomore year of high school that allowed people to anonymously leave you a message that you could choose to either delete or respond to, which then in turn posted on your profile and your followers newsfeed.

SPOILER ALERT … People suck and Formspring was very easily turned into a platform to bully people mercilessly from the comfort of your own computer or smartphone without there being any way to figure out it came from.

Everyone knows that quote by George Santayana – “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Well here’s an actual example. I talked about this last year in my article about the hit Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” that issues like bullying are very real and very dangerous.

I don’t even want to think about the number of teens that were driven into depression, and suicide because of Formspring. It was horrible for everyone involved and just as quickly as it became a trend in middle schools and high schools across the national it died out after we began to realize what it was truly doing to people.

So this bears the question, WHY OH WHY ARE WE PUTTING OURSELVES THROUGH THIS AGAIN?!?!?!? And we’re not even high schoolers anymore … Over the summer, I saw this Sarahah trend pop up on many Instagram/Snapchat stories …

Guys, please stop giving website trends like this attention, we saw what it did in high school so why would we even think this is a good idea in college? Trends like Sarahah are hurtful and potentially dangerous. We’re adults now, it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie and move on to more productive uses of the internet …

… And that’s what grinds my gears …