It was a regular Friday morning. I am not much of a Facebook user unless it’s the weekend. I usually open it to see what’s trending on The Tempest page. But instead of the usual inspirational articles, my feed was flooded with my friends thanking “anonymous” admirers for their personal messages.
I was confused.
Oh no, is this a new internet trend that I’m late to again? I was a week late to the #IceBucketChallenge because of my superior ability to hibernate under a social media-less rock.
I started to scroll down the messages.
“You don’t know me, but I was secretly in love with you during freshman year.” Wait, is this another version of ask.fm?
“I think you’re beautiful inside out, and it’s really important that you know that. But you’ll never know who I am.”
This was the first time I stumbled across a positive message on the internet. It was intriguing. #Sarahah (meaning “honesty” in Arabic) is an app that was developed in Saudi Arabia, in the spirit of sending constructive messages anonymously. The catch is that you’re allowed to send messages anonymously to people with the intention of making their days better. But then, if you really wanted to say something nice, wouldn’t you just say that to them? What is the point of complimenting someone if they don’t know who you are?
So my next question is, how long before this turns into the blood bath that ask.fm succumbed to?
When I had an ask.fm account, I had fun at first. Most messages I got were funny and I knew that my friends were trying to poke fun at me. But soon, it started to get really ugly. A total stranger texted me and threatened me to send him sensitive information. I had to shut it down. Since then, I’m still in two minds whether to open a Sarahah account.
What if we used Sarahah in the real world? Where we work, study and live?
We can start by complimenting our parents, teachers, and coworkers on a daily basis. By compliments, I don’t mean their clothes or appearances, but genuine compliments about their personalities. Wouldn’t that make everyone feel much happier than receiving a bunch of anonymous destructive messages? I would be much happier if a friend walked over to me and said, “You know, I’ve always loved the way you work with people, with such finesse.”
Okay, wishful thinking, but a girl can dream.
We need to be appreciated more. You can brush me off by saying that I need to love myself more and shouldn’t rely on others for appreciation. But there’s a small part of everyone that yearns to be told something nice by the people we look up to. There’s no denying that our days become insanely better when we’re genuinely complimented by others. We’re just hard-wired that way.
So this is what I propose: Take two minutes to compliment somebody who makes a huge impact in your life. It could be your professor who gave you a second chance on your assignment. It could be your boss who let you off scot-free when you didn’t make that deadline. It could even be your mom for when she helped you pack for college. Little gestures speak volumes.
Let’s scrap the anonymity and tell people how we feel because it makes them feel a hundred times better than a Sarahah message.