Yik Yak, an app that allows individuals to post and read anonymous posts of those in the same location as you has taken over college campuses, and unfortunately high schools as well. It’s intended for confessions or little quips with the hope of getting upvotes. And with anything else in social media, it has gotten out of hand. People will say just about anything to get high numbers of likes whether it be saying something sexist, racist, or stealing an idea that was previously shared on the app or from popular blogging websites such as Tumblr. In other words, Yik Yak is lacking two essential things: originality and respect. With this app dominated by the younger generation, it is in some cases disturbing to read. With high school students asking if its strange that they’re still virgins or a male college student priding himself on acts that could easily be read as sexual assault, this place is certainly not showing the millenials in a positive light. Rather, from first glance at the app much of what is read shows arrogance, sexism, racism, and a general misguided nature about the way that the world ought to be. The admins of the app encourage against this behavior, but it is ignored as well as the request that there is no name dropping (high schools are using initials to identify, shame, or proclaim love for others).
And while things like this can and are said on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram- it is the anonymity of it that can be most disturbing. Nobody would dare put their name on the things that they say on Yik Yak- which leads them to believe that they are allowed to say offensive or degrading things, because it is anonymous. In the adulthood that many of the posters possess, nobody should be saying anything that they aren’t willing to own up to. And even if they are willing to admit ownership of something that has gained particular attention, is this flaunting of social media success any different from bragging about a number of Instagram likes that one receives, something that most people wouldn’t appreciate in every day conversation?
So, after using the app on and off for over a year, I have decided that I am officially done with it. I am done with reading negativity spewed from my peers when I try so hard to have faith in others. I am done with people believing that is acceptable to disrespect people so long as nobody knows it was you. I am done with people feeling some sort of conquest by having their negative opinions positively reviewed by other negative people. If you’re too addicted to the app to quit, as I know many people are, I would encourage you to do this: try spinning things in a better way. Try not to complain about your life (you’re attending college for goodness sake) and try not to demean those who do not have privileges or ease that you may in your life. And if you must continue to be a negative poster, at least have the guts to own up to your words if asked, “was this you?”