The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

Yik Yak creates a judgemental, hostile online environment

Since technology has become one of, if not the most, important aspect of our lives, we rely on our smartphones to get through the day. Whether it is sitting through a boring lecture or lying in bed but being able to stay in touch with my friends, I am constantly on my phone.

One app that is taking over college campuses across the nation is Yik Yak. If you haven’t heard of it, the app store defines it as “a local bulletin board for your area.” This app allows a community, particularly a college campus, to post anything they want anonymously. Why is this so popular? I think the better question is why wouldn’t it be? Being able to say anything you want without dealing with the repercussions, that’s a dream, isn’t it?

I have to believe that most students on our campus know what it means to treat others with respect, no matter what the circumstances. We are 18-22 years old, spending time at a university that offers so much to help us grow into adults and eventually enter into the real world. Kids will be kids, that saying is true. Yet some of the posts on this app make me feel as though we are taking a step backwards into immaturity, not forwards into responsibility. A lot of what is posted is most likely intended as a joke, and should be taken lightly. I think it is ridiculous that just because this is an anonymous app, students and others within the community think it is okay to write stereotypical, derogatory, and simply mean posts.

Two weeks ago I was stressing about my politics exam I had the next day. My classmates and I who live on the same floor figured it would be a smart idea to sit together in the hallway and put our knowledge together. Hopefully, this would increase our chances of passing the exam. It was a Tuesday night around 10. We hear the girls down the hall yelling about something, seemingly directed towards us, but we ignored them. It was not too late, and it was not like we were being loud. We were discussing political theory and trying to memorize details of politicians, how crazy could it really get? The girls continued and eventually we split up and went back to our rooms. The next day, one of my friends who I was studying with sent me a picture of a post on Yik Yak. The post was directed towards us, saying that “those people studying politics on the third floor in the hallway better shut up.” Let’s just say I cleaned up those words a little, as their word choice was not even remotely as polite. This is just one example of how this app creates a forum for rude and ignorant comments. Maybe it should not be taken so seriously, but this is only the beginning. Why do people feel the need to post that? Think those words, sure. Tell your roommate, don’t post it online.

In a time where our country is so focused on eliminating stereotypes, it is interesting to me how many stereotypes lie around Loyola. Not only do they exist, but they are magnified on Yik Yak. The amount of posts surrounding lacrosse players and their “stupid responses,” in class are endless. Or about the “basic girls who drink pumpkin spice lattes while wearing Patagonia jackets and Hunter rain boots.” Whether intended as a joke or not, these posts are dividing the student body. This anonymous app may be fun, and some of the posts may make me laugh, but overall I feel it negatively impacts the way our school is looked at from the outside world.

This app makes me feel as though as I walk from Starbucks to class, or head out to the FAC, I am constantly being judged. I am concerned that I will trip and it will be the most popular post of the night. Or maybe I will wear the wrong outfit, something that stands out too much from the norm, and suddenly I am Yik Yak famous. I know for a fact that others feel the same way I do, and I think this app is making our school, the University we are so lucky and fortunate to attend, into a place of anonymous judgment.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Yik Yak creates a judgemental, hostile online environment