TBH app gives a positive spin to social media

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Lilit Krkasharian, Yearbook Managing Editor

After cyberbullying taking over all forms of social media for so long, it is nice to see a new social media app, TBH, short for To be Honest, gain popularity as an anonymous app used to spread kindness among peers. Trending as the #1 free app on Apple’s app store, TBH is a unique form of social media that attracts users because it steps away from the negativities that so many teens face today and instead provides them compliments and small phrases of motivation that remind them that people do not only view them in a negative or bad light, but think of them with positive feelings.

TBH is a fairly simple app to use. After creating an account by providing your name, grade, school and gender, the app allows you to add friends from your contact list who have an account on the TBH app. The app also shows other students from your school that have the app and mutual friends you can add. If friends from your contact list do not have an account, you can send an invite through the app, which then leads to the friend receiving a text message from TBH with a link to download the free app.

Once an account is created and friends are added, the user is presented with a series of either 12 or 20 uplifting questions, such as “Sweeter than honey” and “Looks stunning without even trying,” that each have four answer choices, which are the names of their friends on the app. The user picks one friend’s name and continues to answer the questions until all of them have been answered.  Each question also has a shuffle option, which shuffles the names of the friends that are presented as the four choices, and skip option, which allows the user to skip the question if they do not want to answer it.

Once all of the questions have been answered in that series, a one hour timer begins on the app, during which the user is not presented with any questions, but can still continue using the app in other ways, such as by adding friends or viewing what others are saying about them. Anytime a friend chooses a user’s name as an answer to a question, the user receives a gem on the app, which can then be viewed to see what the question was and who the other three options were. It does not, however, show who chose the user, thus keeping the app anonymous. After the one hour time has elapsed, the user is presented with another series of questions they can again answer.

Cyberbullying has become very prevalent among children and teens today. According to DoSomething.org, almost 43 percent of kids have experienced cyberbullying, with 1 in 4 of them saying it has happened more than once. Although it is difficult to eliminate cyberbullying for good with so many new forms of social media and new outlets popping up all the time, TBH provides a good counter to that and reminds teens that they are valued and appreciated by their classmates. TBH is not a solution to the major problem of cyberbullying, but it does help students feel better about themselves and thus opposes the effects that cyberbullying has on kids.