“This app was designed to give a voice to that student in the back of the class that never speaks up,” said the founders of Yik Yak in a CLP at Furman recently. Oh really? You’re telling me you think the person who posted, “I’m tired of black people playing the race card. It’s the 21st century. We persecute gays now,” is that quiet kid in the back of the class? I think you’re just as wrong as whoever posted this: “Darth Vader…first black guy to admit he’s the father.” This is my Furman?
If you simply Google “Yik Yak,” common words you will see are bullying, trouble, racism, sexism, dangerous, and controversial. That sounds like the perfect app for colleges. These founders have brilliantly created a place for cowards to hide behind the anonymity, sharing their wisdom with their campus in the crudest of forms. I couldn’t think of a better way to encourage community and to bridge the gaps caused by discrimination on our campus.
Muhozi Aimable, a freshman at UGA recently said, “When I am upset, I just look over [Yik Yak] and laugh at what other people are saying. I would see some struggles that people are going through that are the same struggles I am going through and I am like ‘Oh, wow. I am not alone.’” Wow. I am glad you are not alone Muhozi. I am glad you found people around you to support you through your struggles… Oh wait. You’re still alone, on your phone, looking at anonymous posts. I guess it would be too hard to talk to the people around you and find similarities with people, face to face. That’s risky.
For the people finding validation in their “upvotes” and “top Yaks,” kudos. People like you… Oh but wait, they actually just like the words that you would probably very rarely say in public with your name attached. I’m so glad we have a way to connect with other students on our campus, to appreciate the diversity that exists, and to inspire strong community here at Furman.
Here’s to you, Yik Yak. Thanks for all your kind words, encouragement, and compliments. Keep ‘em coming.