Everything a Parent Needs to Know About the Anonymous TBH App
Anonymous apps, such as Secret and Sarahah, have become increasingly popular with teens over the last several years and it’s not hard to understand why. Teens often feel more comfortable being themselves and speaking their minds when they are offered anonymity. But, anonymity can also lead to trouble, which is why parents need to know about the many anonymous apps their kids may be using. One of the newest anonymous apps that parents should learn about is called TBH.
The Launch of the TBH App
TBH, which stands for “to be honest,” is a brand new app that just launched in August of this year. Its initial release was limited to a high school in Georgia, where it was immediately embraced by students. On the first day, over 40% of the student population downloaded the app. The very next day, the developers made the app available to students at three other schools in the area and saw the same results. By this time, they knew just how successful TBH would be.
In just two months, the app has now expanded its reach to eight other states, including Florida, Washington, Rhode Island, Texas, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, and California. Even though the app is fairly new on the market, it currently has an impressive 2 million daily active users, many of which are teenagers and young children. In fact, a spokesperson for the company stated that approximately 25% of students in California have downloaded the app.
How Teens Use TBH
On TBH, users can anonymously take polls about the friends in their contact lists. Every question that users can answer about their friends is positive. For example, a user may be prompted with a list of four friends and asked “Who has the best smile?” or “Who plans the best parties?” Most of the questions are written by the app’s developers to ensure they are not insulting or harassing. Users can write their own questions, but they must be reviewed and approved by the app first to ensure they meet their standards. Currently, over 10,000 questions are submitted daily and less than 1% of them are approved.
Each user can only answer a certain number of questions per day, which limits the amount of time that kids can spend on this app. This means it will be difficult for teens to get as addicted to this app as they are with others such as Snapchat or Instagram.
When someone is chosen in one of these polls, he receives a notification telling him what his friends are saying about him. The notification that he sees within the app will be pink if the voter was a girl and blue if the voter was a boy. This is the only information that TBH will tell the user about the voter, so your answers remain completely anonymous.
The Dangers Facing Teens on TBH
Teens are met with uplifting and positive messages from their friends and family members on TBH. However, there are still several dangers that teens may run into while using TBH. It’s possible that harassing poll questions submitted by users will be approved if the reviewer does not realize the question is offensive. This could become a problem as the app continues to grow and has to move quickly to approve a larger number of poll question requests. If an offensive question is accidentally approved, teens could use this app to cyberbully their peers.
It’s also important to note that many teens take screenshots of the polls they have won and post them to other social media networks such as Snapchat or Instagram in an attempt to find out who the voter was. For example, a teen that receives a notification saying she won a “Who do you want to date the most?” poll could post this on Instagram to find out the identity of her secret admirer. Although TBH is fairly safe, crossing over to another social media platform could expose teens to the dangers of that platform.
Teens that see their friends posting the polls they have won may feel left out or rejected if they are not winning anything. Even though no one is directly cyberbullying them, this could make be a major blow to their self esteem.
As of right now, there is no direct messaging feature on TBH, but the developers stated that this feature could be added in the near future. If it is, parents need to be aware of it so they can protect their children from engaging in inappropriate conversations with other people. For now, TBH should not concern parents, however it’s possible that the app will change as it continues to grow.