To Yik, or To Yak?

Yik Yak is an anonymous app that lets you post random comments in your area. People are able to post anything from complaints, hopes, and questions with the knowledge that only local viewers will be able to comment.

While Yik Yak is able to connect people in new and exciting ways, it also has major drawbacks. The anonymous nature of Yik Yak can lead to people being ruder than they normally would be. Negative reactions to statements such as, “So tired of this,” or, “Does anyone else think that res is too loud?” can lead to people thinking that responders represent a majority opinion instead of a minority one. There are many ways that the weight of comments expressed can be disoriented. There are a lot of cases that suggest that this belief is core to explaining why social media insults can have an immense impact on people.

Majority opinions are valued more heavily than minority opinions, in most cases, and this can cause a change in the way that people see certain belief sets. The anonymous and impersonal nature of such Apps can change the way that the person sees their position in relation to their critical responders. While responses and comments made by one person can seem daunting, responses that come from a single anonymous person can have a bigger impact. Not knowing who has stated what can lead people to misunderstand other important factors that should be taken into account when receiving hurtful information.

Another key element of Yik Yak criticism comes from the fact that you are unable to choose who you are talking to. If you knew that someone had a stance on something that fought against your own, you would decide ahead of time not to ask this person what they thought. Knowing ahead of time how something you ask will impact a viewer is crucial to ensuring that you get information that is helpful and not hurtful.

Despite the fact that people from other areas are able to view Yaks, our Herd members can be reassured that only locals are able to respond to questions. This limitation also prevents foreign people from filled Yik Yak feeds with spam and otherwise useless information. Yik Yak has taken steps to ensure that only Teens are viewing feeds, and has dedicated research into ensuring that Yik Yak won’t be usable near Elementary and Middle Schools.

Although it may cause some negative consequences to occur, it can also help to connect students of the Acadia community in very different, and sometimes personal, ways. This App is able to foster a sense of Acadia spirit and relatable posts help to unite us as a student body. While there may be some drawbacks that result from any form of social media, Yik Yak, overall, is able to unite us all in a personal and immediate medium with which we can express our thoughts.