Yik Yak, a new phone application that allows one to anonymously post to a feed based on their location, is the new obsession of some Manhattan College students. It has been funny and intriguing but also a place to cyber bully many students, myself included.
The app also allows its users to report any seemingly inappropriate yaks, like and dislike posts, reply to a post and like or dislike those as well. Every user has a “Yakarma”score, which seems to correlate with rate of usage. Other colleges’ Yik Yak feeds are featured on the app such as Boston College and Wake Forest. One can also check out the all-time greatest yaks, top yaks in the area and their yaks that have been posted recently.
On the app’s website, yikyakapp.com, it says the app is to act as a “local bulletin board”of those in the area to connect people who do not necessarily know each other. In addition, it says to “spread the word and join the herd.”It seems as though the inventors of the app may have not seen it as a new way to bully those in close vicinity. I could only imagine what this is doing to high schools, based on how it has impacted the student body at Manhattan.
“I feel that it is a very immature way to go about making fun of people. It’s a form of cyberbulling and it’s something that the school can’t stop. It’s something that we’re going to have to stop ourselves, but I don’t see that happening,” junior communication major Ian Rhatigan said.
“I think it’s pathetic and that people are using it to hurt other people. It is 100 percent anonymous and I think it’s something that has to do with low self esteem because people are ‘liking’these horrible phrases and statements,” junior elementary education major Indeia Scarfone said. “They don’t even know who is saying it, they just feel good that someone is actually acknowledging what they posted. What’s the point of getting twenty likes on it? They don’t even know who liked it, that’s so sad.”
Rhatigan and Scarfone both agreed that the “likes” are boosting peoples’egos, which makes the individual want to post more.
“It’s hurting people and it’s sad because we don’t know who they are but everyone else knows who they are victimizing and that’s not fair. A lot of them [the yak posts] aren’t true. People might believe it or not and when they put a first and last name on it, we’re going to know who you are on this small campus. It’s more hurtful than funny, and I feel like its the younger kids based on what is being posted and about who,”said Scarfone. Both Rhatigan and Scarfone have been mentioned on the app.
“I haven’t downloaded the app because I think it’s totally pointless. Freshmen are giving it too much attention. I think they are taking it really personally and too far. The whole campus is using the app, but the names of a lot of freshmen have been mentioned so it means a lot of freshmen are on it. It demonstrates their immaturity. It’s bullying,”freshman radiation therapy major Joi Menendez said.
“I think that it’s really pathetic and it’s gotten to the point of bullying now. I think that everyone is just
acting like they’re in high school,”said freshman Haley Valero, journalism major. Valero was mentioned on the app as well.
“Yik Yak has become an adult version of Formspring and no one has any control over what gets said. If you would not say it to someone’s face why would you say it to an anonymous app,”senior history major Courtney Slack said.
Formspring is a question-and-answer based social networking service that allows one to make an account and have anonymous users submit questions and comments for posting. It came about in 2009, when current classes at Manhattan College were in high school.
Overall, Yik Yak is a train wreck. We want to shake our heads but at the same time we cannot look away despite the lack of validity concerning the posts made. It seems as though at least a portion of the student body is not displaying good judgment or any Lasallian values.
Will this be the new status quo or will maturity and kindness prevail?