My experience with Sarahah

The past 3–4 days have been interesting. Two things happened — My long hiatus from Facebook debate broke temporarily(referred to as #1 henceforth) and Sarahah. At first, I was not interested in putting up one of my own spaces to ask for “constructive messages” but the former led to the latter, and I was curious. So, I put mine up and shared it on a few personal Whatsapp groups, Twitter and a while later, Facebook.

At first, it was mostly light hearted trolling, Priya Sweety-esque proposals including one that was quite passionate.

(And no, whoever wrote this, this is not the share to accept you were looking for. O_o)

For most of this part, they were short messages- and whichever wasn’t a troll has something really sweet to say. More on this later.

After a while, the trolls died down, and I got a couple of messages that I felt like responding to. The first one had nice things to say, and ended with a clue which I couldn’t figure out. So, I posted it back on Facebook and asked them to ping back. The second one ended on the lines of respecting others’ opinions. To which my answer was, this.

By this time, there was a recurring theme of my headstrongness(yeah, it’s not headstrength, I looked it up) in many of the serious messages. There was one which I felt like engaging with, in a banter sort of way. That was this one.

Message: “There’s a fine line between self respect and head weight .. You’re on one side half the time, and the other side for the remaining half.”

My response: “Well if you say so.”

This seems to have triggered a few more folks. Which led to one more that I engaged with.

Not much of a constructive message, yeah?

My response was the same: “Well if you say so.”

But by this time, another soul had already decided that I was making a mockery of the feedback. Perceptions, right? That one was this.

By now, I really wanted to mock this, so I cross posted this back to Facebook with the same message, “Well if you strongly say so.”

This was interesting, because my inference is that the third one was a response to the first two, which I didn’t engage with constructively because they didn’t have anything constructive to say. There’s no more fun that goading someone who makes a wisecrack, and that’s what I did. Headstrong? Okay. Fun? Yes! 😁

Oh, and by this time(where I had shared 4 posts over ~30 hours), a couple of folks had decided that I was spamming already. Couple of messages read,

1. “You promised not to spam our timelines and you are precisely doing that.”

2. “kindly stop spamming TL. nobody cares :)”

(On a side note, trust me, I know what spam is. Writing software to detect and filter spam is my daily job 😉)

Now that we got all that out of the way, let’s get to the good parts. Many of you had good stuff to say. I enjoyed reading through the compliments and loved the few posts that had brief but deep feedback. I’ll quote a few messages-

I think ppl like you are rare, who openly and audaciously voice out opinion for issues that need addressing. Please bear in mind that some people take time to change and are willing to change. Your enragement is understandable, but please try to be a little kinder with words for people like me are afraid to even come talk to you because they think that you’ll pounce at them too, though they should not be afraid. Look around, there are really much calmer people who really make big impacts in people’s mind. Just a request. You can be the way you want and you know it.
Not all discussions take place for someone to win. The point is to arrive at the most sensible conclusion with collective knowledge. Forget the fact that whether you respect a person or not and focus only at whether you have something to learn from him/her. If you don’t respect someone enough, you can easily miss the point they are trying to convey. If you respect someone really high, you will be blinded, to not see their ignorance.
In a recent debate on FB, you resorted to outraging over someone questioning things rather than having a calm and open-minded fact based discussion. Whenever this happens, the side outraging over questing things comes across as bad. This might be the reason why some people have perceived you as headstrong or arrogant because they assumed that you think your opinion is infallible and further debate is pointless. Hope you develop the patience to dismantle poor arguments in a calm manner like Christopher Hitchens or Sam Harris as opposed to letting emotions get the better of you. Thanks :) P.S: also be open to recalibrate your views if proven wrong.

To the authors of these messages, you have my gratitude for taking the time.

Some of the compliments that I enjoyed with my responses in brackets,

1. We haven’t spoken to each other personally. We’ve quizzed against each other a few times on the college circuit. Hard to find fellow left leaning quizzers. Kudos on your ability to nail down people and call BS if required. (Thank you, I’m glad you think so!)
2. best mentor (❤️)
3. #sirandha class representative😜 N you will always be the most fav student of the chemistry lecturer i guess😂 (Hahaha 😂 thank you!)
4. Hello Ji! I look up to you for being opinionated. Though the way you put forward your opinions comes across as very strong (read rude in certain instances), they make sense. Respect and good wishes :) (Thanks for the message, good wishes to you too!)
5. Firstly, When will you revive your like dude Rajkiran page??? Secondly you have a great knowledge on almost all topics. Some I agree with you and some I don’t!! Would love to have a debate :D (Firstly, that’s not my page 😱, secondly, always open to discussions about any topic, drop by in an inbox or in person some day.)

There are two reasons why I wrote this post.

  1. I was anyway going to write it. Spamming every single message as an image on Facebook is just too much. A consolidated post is a better idea to me.
  2. I was seeing how far I could push messages that weren’t intending to engage in conversation. I think I’ve hit the reasonable limit.

Thanks to everyone who read so far. If you want to leave a comment about this post anonymously, go back to the same link- and use the hashtag #medium.

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