Say(wh)at

Riya Nagendra
I Year B.A. English

Drama is something that’s certainly not lacking on the internet, especially since it seems to enjoy shadowing all the latest social media fads, even those started with seemingly wholesome intent – like Sarahah, or Sayat.me.

These two apps were created to encourage people to help each other grow (their words, not mine) – they allow one to give honest feedback about a co-worker, an employee, a friend or an acquaintance. This is the idea, of course. I am sure there are people who make the best use of these apps, although I am yet to meet any of these stunning pinnacles of good sense.

What I have seen of Sarahah and Sayat.me fill me with nostalgia for another similar website (and app) – ask.fm. On ask.fm, you could send anonymous questions to people for them to answer publicly – or at least that was the idea, but nobody really asked any questions – they just mucked about sending random song lyrics to unsuspecting victims. Even if the occasional provocative truth-or-dare-I-pick-truth type questions were asked, they were rebuffed with a failed attempt at wit.

Anyway, what’s the point of anonymous feedback if people get so incensed when they receive criticism? I concede – most of the criticism is just thinly veiled insults, but regardless. Instead of rolling their eyes and accepting their fate and the (inevitable) stupidity of their fellow humans, you get challenged by the wounded person – “Message me, you faceless coward!” adorns their stories and statuses.

Not that insulting someone from behind a screen is a very graceful and honourable thing to do, certainly not, but it unfortunately seems to be one of the top functions of the internet – rudeness and meme generation. The basic problem with us as a race seems to be that we take quite interesting and good ideas, gently lay the ideas on the floor and then jump up and down on them, wearing muddy shoes, with a vigour we don’t employ otherwise in our lives.

How’s that for feedback?

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