One of the hottest apps on smart devices currently is the ever-entertaining-yet-controversial “Yik Yak” App. This app was released late last year and is now the latest fad in social media, making an impact in everyday life, even schools, across the country through word-of-mouth. If you haven’t heard of Yik Yak yet, your friends most likely have and are using it as we speak. The point is, you might want to check it out. You might even get addicted and check it every 5 minutes like I have; and here I thought I would never even get into social media.
Like Facebook, Yik Yak allows the user to write posts (called “yakking”) of what they’re thinking or what’s currently popular, except here it’s anonymous. It’s most comparable to apps like Whisper and Secret whereas you don’t know who’s creating the posts. You can write about anything and anyone within a 10 mile radius can see it, what’s the worst that can happen?
Not surprisingly, a lot can happen. The site’s design is to silence bullying via anonymous posts, which is a good theory. However, there have been numerous reports of cyber bullying mostly in schools across the country, with parents and users demanding its dissolution. Users (often students) have been known for writing about current events, making observations of their surroundings (i.e. their teacher’s boring lecture), joking about someone’s culture, using misogynistic or derogatory slurs, or anything else that’s offensive. Not all of the posts are quite honestly repulsive, but many are.
You may think, “Who cares if I write feminism sucks or that kid in my class is ‘so fat’? People will complain, but I can say whatever I want.” As much as we’re entitled to our opinions, purposely bullying and offending others (even anonymously) shouldn’t be tolerated. Cyber-bullying has already unfortunately been commonplace in schools with the internet, so why let more of it happen?
Thankfully, schools, like Westlake High in Texas, have started taking notice of this app’s bullying aspect and sent letters home about the app and its high negativity. So, why is it so appealing? Just like any social media site, you can say basically anything. The app is clearly geared towards a younger age range, notably teenagers, for their love of social media sites and their ever-growing desire to speak their minds, regardless of their purposeful apathy. Still, as a society, we need to teach our peers to respect one another. My peers have always told me “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” On paper, it’s an excellent app, but not in reality. Huh, isn’t the internet wonderful?
Source on Westlake: http://kxan.com/2014/09/29/yik-yak-bullying-leads-districts-to-ban-app/