Yik Yak My Ass


Monday_RealTalk Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Yik Yak...cue the elevated hands of almost every single student on campus.

Most of you have at least heard of Yik Yak by now. If not, you are one of the select few who have somehow managed to avoid the dreadful app. I genuinely offer my condolences for your loss. You’re really missing out on some high quality, intellectual information.

Here’s an example of a post I saw today: “I’ve had the worst case of gas today and have been farting all over the place. #sorryifyousmelledit.”

There were hundreds to choose from, but this one struck me as particularly insightful for obvious reasons.

The first time I checked out the app, I was absolutely flabbergasted. I thought, as if our generation hasn’t been berated enough for being trashy. This is exactly what the doctor ordered, the cherry on top of the godforsaken cake. The Real World was too classy, so in comes Jersey Shore. Lindsay Lohan didn’t do enough drugs, so Amanda Bynes went AWOL. Honesty Box didn’t suffice, so Yik Yak was born. We continue to outdo ourselves in all the shittiest ways possible. Gen Y, FTW!

In case you have indeed been living under a rock, Yik Yak basically acts as an anonymous bulletin board, connecting users within a five-mile radius of each other. All you have to do to join the movement is download that sucker and give it the “OK” to track your location. Once that’s done, you’ve officially signed over your soul to the devil. Wahoo!

The problem is, once people realized Yik Yak posts are anonymous, they fucking ran with it. What started as a harmless, mindless outlet for boredom quickly escalated into a full-blown breading ground for hate speech. At this point, the app is essentially a center for stereotyping, and even discrimination, and any post that doesn’t meet those criteria is most likely about Chipotle’s effect on the human digestive system, or how much it sucks to live in Lawrinson. And I can proudly say I give zero fucks about both of those “issues.”

It’s ridiculously easy to get consumed in social media nowadays. The world gives birth to a new, free app and it’s like Christmas morning all over again. What we seem to forget is by choosing to participate in social media, we also inherit a certain degree of responsibility. Every time we click “send,” we’re sending the world a message — a message that reflects on our characters as individuals, but more importantly, influences people’s perceptions of our entire community, and even our generation. As long as you’re on campus, anything you post on Yik Yak is a reflection of Syracuse University as a whole.

I certainly hope our peers are deeper than “I’m allowed to be thirsty. I’m in college.” So lets stop making it so easy for people to ridicule us. There are ways we can entertain ourselves without sounding like morons, or worse, degrading one another. Seriously guys, read a book or something.

Real TalkLianna HurshComment