By tess alekseev
This August, the anonymous messaging app TBH launched in Georgia. Since then, it has gained traction in other states, including Michigan.
It works like this: you enter your name, grade, gender, and school, then you add people from your suggested list. When you go leave comments on people’s profiles, it allows you to pick from a group of four people, and to pick the person that a superlative applies to. Examples include “looks stunning without even trying” and “has the guts to steal a car and drive to Vegas.”
It follows in the steps of other anonymous messaging apps, such as Sarahah, which was popular last summer. However, Sarahah, like many of its predecessors, allowed users to type up anything and send it. Problems arose when comments turned sour – which is what TBH is trying to avoid.
TBH only offers kind or funny superlatives – you can’t say anything that isn’t prompted by the app. This has been both a pro and a con in the eyes of the student body: it’s great, because you can’t get anything mean, but it’s not as fun because the whole allure to anonymity is being able to say anything you want without consequence. Despite this, TBH has become the number one free app on the Apple app store, with nearly everyone at DHS having it on their phone.
Another problem with the superlatives is that they can be pointless, and the group of people you’re prompted to pick from is either full of people you don’t know, or it’s too hard to pick just one person that the title applies to.
Despite its shortcomings, TBH is a new form of social media – one that has no room for harassment or cyberbullying. It definitely has room to improve, but it tells us that social media can be popular even without the option to hurt others.