Anonymous messaging apps should be the next fad to die out


Kelly Kendall

Apps commonly used for anonymous messaging include Mustache, AskFM, YOLO, and Tellonym. Anonymous messaging apps are a pathway for cyberbullying.

Casey Griffith and Casey Griffith

“No one wants to hear about your stupid eating disorder, so stop advertising how poorly you deal with life and shut up.”

This was one of five or six messages I received on an anonymous social media app one day about two years ago, but it is the only one I remember. I had posted a link on my Instagram story to a website that allowed people to send me anonymous messages. The website advertised it would allow its users to “finally know what [their] friends really think about [them]!” Was that really what my friends thought of me? That I was just trying to call attention to myself by sharing my story (an incredibly scary thing to do) to the public?

I shared the message on my Instagram story. Many saw it, and a few responded to try to reassure me that this wasn’t the case, but the message stuck in my head for weeks. Even the positive messages I received both anonymously and publicly couldn’t lift my spirits. I formed an opinion that day that I still hold to be true today: anonymous social media platforms are nothing but damaging.

Sure, you can share and receive positive messages on these platforms. But if you have something positive to say about someone, why not just tell them to their face? The power of a compliment is something so real, and to have someone, even a complete stranger, give you one, is touching.

Besides, if someone knows they won’t get caught for doing something they aren’t supposed to, it makes them a lot more likely to do it. Integrity is hard to come by these days, it seems. These apps, while well-intended, only give bullies an avenue to attack their victims with no repercussions. The anonymity these platforms provide is pure gold to cowards who have nothing better to do with their time than ruin someone’s day.

Cyberbullying is an ever-growing issue, and apps like Tellonym and YOLO (which is currently ranked fourth in social networking apps on the App Store) are the perfect getaway cars for bullies.

I encourage you to delete these apps if you have them. If you have something kind to say to somebody, tell them! It could make their day. If you have something negative to say, keep it to yourself. You have no idea what could be going on in a person’s life, and you never know what kind of impact your words could have on them. Be kind and support others; don’t tear them down.