My first semester of college, I went to the University of Arkansas. Within the first few weeks of classes, I realized that everybody who was anybody followed the “Arkansas Confessions” Twitter account. This was a virtually anonymous place to voice your opinions, confess crushes, or even say how much you hated someone. It was monitored by one mystery student who would read through the direct messages and post the confessions. With this account came a lot of self-consciousness and negativity. I found that I went to class in hopes of someone posting about “a cute blond with big glasses walking out of the music building”. I also started to internally judge others more harshly due to the tweets I would read about others. Without realizing it, this account took over the way I perceived the world.
Have you heard of Yik Yak? If not, you must not have a smartphone. It seems as though everyone on Tech campus is using this app. It’s much like Arkansas Confessions, but it’s completely anonymous. You don’t even have to sign up. Users are free to post their honest opinions, which are regularly very harsh. Students use this app during class, posting about professors and how much they hate the course. But more often than not, it’s a place to hook up with strangers. If you ask me, that just sounds like trouble.
I took it upon myself to “yak”, asking users’ opinions about YikYak. Besides a lovely profane comment, an anonymous user wrote, “Yik yak is good for all of us. We all get the bullshit and drama we crave, a few good laughs, and don’t have to answer to the drama and bullshit we caused. It’s great really.” If you think about it, they speak the truth. We might not all crave drama of our own, but we love reading and watching it. It’s fun! But there’s a fine line between funny and offensive.
YikYak is a guilty pleasure for students hear at Tech campus. But is this new fad a negative or positive addition to our media-crazed world? I’ll let you decide.