BreakingModern — I’m not one of those people who claims that all social media is bad. Despite the fact that I generally don’t feel connected to my fellow millennials, I do partake in drinking the digital Kool-Aid that is social media. In fact, I love to shamelessly promote my Twitter feed as much as possible, and, though I don’t necessarily enjoy it, I’m on Facebook constantly.
Social media, like almost everything, can be revolutionary or heart-warming, just as it can be repulsive or a full on disgrace to mankind. Yik Yak (free to download for Android on Google Play and Apple iOS) is a relatively new and anonymous social media app. Unfortunately it’s a taint on the human race. It brings out the worst aspects of the Internet, and highlights how genuinely awful we have the capability to be. Almost without merit entirely, Yik Yak is unoriginal, sad and tedious, but at least the interface is pretty cool.
Yik Yak is meant to serve as an anonymous outlet for young people (primarily college students) to crack jokes, vent and basically say whatever they’d like to say without any sort of repercussion within a five-mile radius. Or, if a five-mile radius isn’t enough, users can “Peek” into other locations through a specific search. They also have an option to “Explore” by viewing regularly changing topic-based threads such as “If I Had 2 Minutes on TV…” and “Why You Always Lyin’.” These posts (called yaks) can be voted on (up or down), and if a post receives four downvotes, it’s immediately removed. The same voting system goes for comments on posts. And that’s essentially it. That is all this extremely successful app has to offer.
It does have a decidedly smooth, easy-to-use interface, but Yik Yak is so simple that it would be truly baffling if this were not the case. What’s really fascinating about Yik Yak is how terrible it is. It serves nobody. Yaks, when they aren’t actively encouraging a culture of cyberbullying, are extremely unimportant and uninteresting. Bland, repetitive memes are repeated ad nausea for the purpose of scoring some cheap laughs and an upvote, while other yaks serve as a window into the mind of someone you don’t know or care about.
For example: I’ll launch my Yik Yak app right now. I’m in the center of Boston and here are some of the yaks I see: “Currently in full-on zombie mode.” “Do I have to go to class?” “Can my life please be a rom-com now?” The Huffington Post said of the app’s posts, “They’re useless, they’re sources of unhelpful or harmful conversations, and they’re a complete eyesore.” I completely agree.
If you’re insecure to the point where you need anonymous feedback because broadcasting your thoughts and opinions to your friends and family isn’t enough, downloading Yik Yak could be the right decision for you. If you are not a fan of the somehow simultaneous tedium and weirdly strong anger that sometimes pervades the Internet, then you shouldn’t make the same mistake I’ve made.
For BMod, I’m Jordan Wold.
All Screenshots: BMod Staff