“Hey, did you Yak about that?” This is a common statement I have been hearing all around campus lately. Yik Yak is the emerging social phenomenon at UNC Charlotte this year. Basically, it is an anonymous version of Twitter.
Students – or anyone near a particular college campus – can post any “yaks” they want to the continuous feed. After something is posted, others can either “up” the post (meaning they liked what was written) or “down” the post.
The app is a great way for students to state opinions on campus life, various classes and even to vent about a failed relationship, but often, posts are distasteful and offensive. Because the posts are anonymous, many people post things that are rude, racist and sexist to the feed.
Anonymity makes some people do and say things they would not normally do and say. The Internet is not anonymous at all, though. Whenever someone posts something onto the Internet, their post is connected to a specific IP address. So when you think you are posting “anonymous” yaks, you should know they are not quite as anonymous as you would believe.
Also, people should be more considerate about other people’s feelings. I have seen some offensive posts about different racial groups, jokes about the way people dress and mean comments directly addressing particular people. It is not all right to make fun of other people – anonymous or not. I am pretty sure most people should have learned that as a little kid.
Everything you post online, even when deleted, will last forever, so we all need to be careful about what we say. Something you say jokingly could affect someone else in a completely different way. It is important to remember that fact when posting anything online, especially on social media.
Currently, there are multiple investigations at high school and college campuses across the country over threats posted on the app. This just shows how people misuse the app, with many students finding themselves in trouble over things they posted to Yik Yak.
Yik Yak posts can be entertaining, and I think it is a great app. I have even downloaded it on my own phone, but mean posts are not funny. Some of the posts that I have personally viewed seriously shock me.
You may think your yak is hilarious and will get tons of up votes, but if your name appeared beside it, would think twice before posting it? If the answer to that question is no, then you should reevaluate what you are posting to Yik Yak.