A number of apps like YikYak and Sarahah have shed light on the issue of anonymity granted to social media users that often results in fierce cyberbullying. Finally, a developer came up with something that hopes to make teens and tweens feel better about themselves, instead of worse.
The app is called Tbh (abbreviation for to be honest) is huge among teens and tweens right now and it didn’t take long for it to climb to the top of the chart in the App Store. Any new app that beats the usual chart-toppers like Facebook, Snapchat, and Gmail, must have something interesting to offer. Tbh is currently only available in 9 states but its focus on positivity seems to be drawing in many teens and tweens.
Anonymous apps like Yik Yak or Saraha allow users to send direct messages to other users and to post anywhere as an anonymous user. Tbh is different in a very significant way. The phrasing and language in the descriptions of personality traits and characteristics assigned to people are developed by the company behind the app, rather than by the users. People who use the app can create their own polls, but the language and content must be approved by the company before it’s posted. According to the developer, 10,000 users submit polls for vetting every day and just 1% of those are approved. Also, the app does not currently allow users to message each other, which eliminates the random bullying that happens on social media sites constantly.
Here is how it works:
- Log in using first and last name and phone number, enter verification code
- Add your friends
- Answer poll question anonymously
- Wait to get a little gem, letting you know you got picked
For example, “The sunshine on my cloudy day” is the poll question and users select who, from their address book, is that person. It feels more like a game or a quiz and believe it or not, there doesn’t seem to be any negativity on this app at all. Nothing mean or sarcastic, no hashtags that don’t make any sense except to the poster and his or her peer group, and nothing hurtful. It is simply a way to compliment friends. How refreshing is that?
Other poll questions on Tbh:
“Trusted with any secret”
“Wish they would ask me to Pokemon Go out”
“Inspires me to do my best”
“Can count on them for anything’
The other thing that makes Tbh different is that it only allows users to answer a certain number of polls within a set amount of time. Basically, users can’t just answer question after question for an endless amount of time. The wait time once a user has completed a certain number of polls is 45 minutes, which may help tweens and teens cope with feelings of addiction that often come with social media apps and online games.
With so much negativity plaguing teens and tweens smartphones, it is refreshing to see an app like this. Imagine a world where we all only complimented one another? We can all use a little lift every now an again and the tweens and teens using Tbh are getting just that.
Andrea Difilippo is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, nationally recognized parenting expert and Chief Parenting Officer with Social Judo.