Quite recently we have found our timelines flooded with screenshots and status’ about sarahah.com. A few months ago a similar wave was created by famously infamous sayat.me
For a week I have been trying to avoid sarahah and go seek attention and validation in the conventional way – social media platforms.
Well, that’s true. No? Isn’t the core intent of a boomerang, an Instagram Story, a Facebook Live, A Hashtag, A Snapchat message, A YouTube video, to seek attention? Isn’t that the purpose of social media? To spread moments all across the web so that they can trace back to you and form an image of you (that you want)?
I am not at all saying that it is a bad thing. (It could be though).
While platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc indirectly cater to the need of validation and attention; platforms like sayat.me, sarahah.com, AskFm (I don’t know much about this though) directly scraps the BS and puts forth the naked need of validation. No?
I was sipping coffee today (trying very hard not to put an Instagram story about it) and thinking of why these platforms work. If you are unsure if it works or not; here’s some data:
Note the surge in search for sayat.me and sarahah.com in past 90 days. There are multiple instances where sayat.me has surpassed twitter.com and almost has more hits than Instagram.
And sarahah.com clearly wins the race (atleast for past week).
Moreover, it has 5 Million downloads on Play Store.
So the question comes (as obvious as it can get) –
Why is it so popular?
With some time on my hand, need for attention and some curiosity – I decided to write about it albeit give my opinion on it.
Here are a couple of reasons:
- Anonymous Opinions FTW!
When someone we can see, stalk (over social media) and interact with, gives us feedback, we instantly co-relate that opinion to their personality traits and their image that we have built up in our minds.
The importance of an opinion is always measured on a scale of how much value that person holds in your life. We know for a fact that opinions are always measured on a relative scale. Scale being the person’s competency on that matter.
To simplify this – I would take the opinion of an established writer on my poetry more seriously than I would take a 10-year-old kid’s opinion.
Now, with anonymous comments; the scale disappears. We don’t have a scale to measure how much that person matters to us.
Hence, we treat anonymous opinions with utmost urgency. Which is why we give a LOT of fuck about what they say. Which is why we share those opinion and justify ourselves. See, the point is that with that we risk tearing the mask we have so carefully stitched. But we still do it because, for all we know, these could be the very people for whom we wore the mask in the first place.
What I mean is,
ANONYMOUS OPINIONS CREATE URGENCY.
- The Bandwagon Effect
The bandwagon effect is a phenomenon whereby the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others. In other words, the bandwagon effect is characterized by the probability of individual adoption increasing with respect to the proportion who have already done so. As more people come to believe in something, others also “hop on the bandwagon” regardless of the underlying evidence.
The tendency to follow the actions or beliefs of others can occur because individuals directly prefer to conform, or because individuals derive information from others. Both explanations have been used for evidence of conformity in psychological experiments.
What I believe is that it is also an extension of Fear of Missing Out. I think the Bandwagon Effect in this case also works because the need for staying relevant is too damn huge. (I could be wrong)
I am unsure of how much important the feedback is to people or how much it affects them. I have personally come across a lot of people are really bothered about these are going out of the line to justify themselves.
All that this is doing is feeding the need of giving a fuck. And guess what ya’ll? We do. We do give a fuck.
Which is why this works.
P.S. These are totally my beliefs. I am open to your views on this. Let me know what you think. And if you want to do so anonymously; here: adityamankad.sarahah.com (touché)