Anonymity is one of the internet’s greatest offerings. You can easily mask your identity online, while still getting to do and say what you want to. This anonymity lends itself to more honesty, since there aren’t repercussions.
A new social network has gone viral, which promises to let you get honest feedback. Now that anonymous app Yik Yak has shut down, this is a void that needs to be filled. Apps like Sarahah and some other alternatives can do just that.
Keep in mind, if you choose to use these apps, you are inviting people to comment about you. These comments might be harsh, and you need to know how to deal with cyberbullying. Be cautious in using these apps, they’re not for everyone.
1. Sarahah (Web, Android, iOS): The New Viral Social Network
Sarahah is a mini social network with the premise of letting you get honest feedback. To sign up, you’ll need to add your email address and choose a unique name. You get to share this name with friends, it isn’t publicly available. No account can be discovered by browsing or searching.
Once your friends are connected, they can send you messages anonymously. You won’t know who the message came from, and you can’t reply to it either. You can add some messages to your favorites though. And of course, if a friend shares their Sarahah handle, you can send them messages anonymously.
It might be a good idea to not share your account name publicly. This can lead to trolls and harassment online. In any case, you might want a few tips from celebrities to beat online trolls.
2. Sayat (Web): Anonymous Feedback, and You Can Reply Too
Sayat and Sarahah are similar, but Sayat offers a bit more. Like Sarahah, you can sign up in no time and get a unique URL. Share this URL, and anyone can write a comment that’s sent to your account anonymously.
Sayat also lets you construct a specific question for your page. So instead of a generic “leave feedback for me”, you can ask something like, “Which bad habit do I need to break?” This way, Sayat can be constructive.
The app also lets you send replies to whoever sent the message. This only works with registered Sayat users though. Still, the commenter stays anonymous like in Yik Yak. So you can have an honest conversation with a friend without them fearing repercussions.
Again, be cautious with this one. Sayat is part of a police investigation in a teen’s suicide, since cyberbullying is suspected as one of the things that led to it.
3. 3sixty (Web): Best for Teams and Offices
Employees fear giving honest feedback because of repercussions. But managers want and need this honest feedback. 3sixty is the easy solution to this complex problem.
Both employees and managers can use this tool. Add your role, or add a question. Send it to three people to get their thoughts on it — the $5 pro version lets you send it to unlimited people. And yes, their responses are completely anonymous.
The impressive part is that 3sixty stores all the responses as data. So let’s say you put your role as “Manager” with the objective of “creating a healthy team environment”. Your team members can write their feedback here regularly. Over time, you will have an archive of all feedback about this one objective in one place. Using 3sixty is far easier than creating a free survey and collecting data with Excel.
4. Free Suggestion Box (Web): Multiple Anonymous Questions in One Place
In the real world, the most widely used mechanism for feedback is the suggestion box. Anyone can slip in a note with their ideas or complaints. Free Suggestion Box takes that idea online.
Create an account and then set up suggestion boxes. It’s best to add a specific question, and create multiple boxes. Each box comes with its own URL. So while you have a central dashboard, you can send different questions to different people.
As with all the others here, Free Suggestion Box is completely anonymous. It’s the best tool if you aren’t interested in a social network feel, and just want to improve yourself with anonymous feedback from friends.
5. Tosify (Web): What Does Your Photo Say About You?
Tosify takes a different approach to anonymous feedback. It’s all about photos here, so you can know what’s the perfect online profile picture for you.
Take a photo, upload it to Tosify, and let your friends and followers vote. You can see the results in real time, and even read comments—all of which are anonymous. There is even a voting system so you can upload two photos, and let people say which one is better.
Let’s face it, most of our friends are too nice to say anything about a bad photo. So give them an opportunity to share their opinions politely and nicely, with full anonymity.
Are Sarahah and Sayat a Bad Thing?
Yes, being able to mask your identity lets you be more honest. And that honesty can lead to some wonderful things. But anonymity, especially online, is a double-edged sword. It can lead to some serious harassment too. On the other hand, we also have instances of people saying remarkably friendly things anonymously.
What’s your take on online anonymity, and apps like Sarahah or Satyat? Are they a force for positive change or do they end up being exercises in ego-stroking or cyber-bullying?
Image Credits: pathdoc/Shutterstock