Yakking About Yik Yak

The newest and hottest social media app has just made its way into South, and it goes by the name “Yik Yak.”

For people who don’t know what that is, Yik Yak is a social media app that uses your location to send and receive “yaks” from within a 10 mile radius.

The most popular feature of the app is its anonymity. This app makes all posts anonymous, thus keeping the writer’s identity unknown.

CB South senior Justin Christiansen described the app as “the bathroom stall of social media.”

Yik Yak allows people to express their feelings, but it is also a breeding ground for cyber bullying.

The bullying really begins with the ability to say cruel names anonymously. As one Yak reads, “It’s all fun and games until your name ends up on Yik Yak.”

CB South senior Brian Uzelac said that he gets a kick out of the yaks that mention names but would dislike it if it mentioned his name.

Senior House Guidance Counselor Mrs. Ladley said that with “more social media at our finger tips, more [cyber-bullying] happens.”

This breakthrough app provides anonymity to the bully, and it may act as a catalyst to the bullying problem.

However, Yik Yak is not designed and manufactured just for bullies .

For instance, that kid you happen to sit next to in chemistry class who is always too shy to talk may very easily be the same kid with some of the highest rated yaks within a 10 mile radius of South.

Even in cases of bullying, the creators of this app are not the ones to blame here. A lot of social media was not intended to be used the way it is.

Snapchat, for example, was meant for a completely different purpose than what it is used for today. And we have to wonder, why would anybody want to create an app solely for bullying?

Yik Yak was designed for college students, but now that it is seeping into high schools, it is growing further and further away from its intended audience.

The app can detect when the user’s phone is working within a school network, and as a result, will not allow access. Users must wait until they’re off school property before adding their comments. But, though Yik Yak is anonymous, there is nothing unclear about the Yaks coming from South.

Of course, there is always the question of whether or not Yik Yak really is anonymous.

Just recently and in close proximity to South was a threat issued through Yik Yak towards Pennridge High School. The threat was made by a former Pennridge student claiming that he was going to bring in a gun or a bomb. The police were able to quickly identify this person by tracking his IP address.

It seems that Yik Yak is never truly anonymous, and Mrs. Ladley also warns South students that “what you put out there is forever.”

There is also the question of whether or not this app will stay popular, and if so, for how long?

Mrs. Ladley thinks that “there will always be something newer and better that comes along.”

This is true in many cases with social media trends, such as Facebook. which was popular with teenagers a few years ago. Now it is being pushed into the background by other social media sources, like Twitter and Instagram.

With this app’s popularity among high school students, there are rumors that middle school students are now starting to use it. Mrs. Ladley’s responded that it comes down to the parents, and she recommends that they monitor what their children are doing online.