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Awareness, Education & Training
on CyberBullying Prevention

Sobrr App – Live Life in the moment

So another week and another App comes out in the chat space.

This week we have the Sobrr App – it would appear that rather than just living in the moment, we have reached that point where we need an app to help us live in the moment!!

Here at Beat The Cyberbully our focus is on increasing awareness and education levels about cyberbullying, online mis-use and the importance of everyone’s online reputation. We have seen a number of apps coming out over the last 12 months targeting teenagers to help them communicate anonymously and have their information disappear after a specific length of time. As we hope you know, nothing is truly anonymous online and Sobrr is no different. In fact they go so far as to highlight this on the description on iTunes, letting you know that people can take screen grabs and that they (Sobrr) are in no way liable for anything that happens with that information.

In spite of this, it will sell itself to you as the living in the moment app, that will allow you have whatever it is you ‘vibed’, chatted, exchanged, disappear in 24 hours. You can even have 24 hour friends if you like. Or if you decide that you’d like to keep them, you can both decide to ‘keep’ and you become more than 24 hour friends.

So it uses different terminology to the others – vibing is what they are using to describe the photos and chats you post at that point in time. Sobrrchat allows you to chat as you would on Whastsapp, Confide, Secret and so on. But you only get to read them once and then they disappear. And as aforementioned, the 24 hour friendship feature whereby you find your friends by username or phone number because you can use Sobrr without an iPhone and the message is delivered via SMS – and still disappears after 24 hours. You can also just connect with anyone on the app in your geography through GPS, so you can truly share your feelings/images/thoughts with a complete stranger who just happens to be in your vicinity and in 24 hours, the content is gone, as is the ‘friendship’ unless you choose to add them to your permanent ‘crew’.

So it has some cool features to set it apart from the plethora of other apps along the same vein. What worries us a little is that, whilst we are avid fans of living in the moment and enjoying life. We also from an online perspective, adopt the Stop | Think | Post mantra. Sobrr contradicts this completely in that it encourages you to share whatever you are feeling at that moment in time, with complete strangers if you so wish.

Why this troubles us is because once it’s out there, it’s out there permanently and becomes part of your digital tattoo. Whilst the image or copy might be removed from the Sobrr servers after 24 hours (although I am sure there are backups held somewhere for legal ramifications) if someone decides to screenshot the message, it can then be uploaded to the hundred other social media websites and used against you, out of context and potentially without you having a clue it’s happened.

It’s a slick looking app we have to admit, but the only real stand out difference from all the others is the 24 hour friend option. Which, as one of their cartoons showed, might be an option for those people dating. When you meet someone and you had a good time, not sure you want to exchange numbers, you could connect on Sobrr and give it 24 hours, then make up your mind?

But as we say with all these apps, use with caution. Take Time To Think when you are posting anything online. If you wouldn’t say it or show it to someone offline, don’t do it online. It’s your online reputation, and the biggest threat to it is YOU. Stop | Think | Post