Gossip and drama rocked ENC over the last few weeks with the introduction of the mobile app, Yik Yak.
Yik Yak is an app that allows users to write whatever they want, completely unfiltered and anonymously. There is no accountability for the audience who reads the “yaks.” Users can either up-vote or down-vote yaks, and users can also reply to the original message. While what was surely meant to be a harmless and fun app, Yik Yak unfortunately took on a darker tone at ENC.
Students filled the app with hateful and hurtful slander towards one another, all anonymously. What is perhaps even more dangerous is the lack of love students brought to one another. Instead of a community that works to build up, encourage, and help one another, students tore each other down while dangerously calling out specific people and using their full names.
That kind of specificity led to others attacking named persons in a mass of anonymous web messages.
The Yik Yak of the ENC community hardly showed a kind word, and if in fact there was a kind message, the comments in reply to the original message often were rude and uncaring.
With no filter, students ran wild talking about topics like atheism, sex, drugs, and alcohol framing the lead in ENC Yik Yak posts. This media form was rampant with these topics, though some messages were phrased as simply “being a joke.”
The app, being relatively new to the ENC community, seems to have taken the school by storm in an extremely voluminous and negative way.
Some students, like senior Zaine Brotzman, heard about the app via other forms of social media. Brotzman originally thought that the app would be an anonymous way to ask questions or share news, then later described the app as being “deplorable, depraved and foul.”
“They should find a way to get rid of this app. No good can come of it,” Brotzman said.
His message rings clearly. He even created the hashtag “#killtheyak” in order to protest the hostile app on this campus.
Students should be working to encourage and uplift one another, not slander each other merely for fun or because they can get away with it. The attitudes of people need to be changed to one of a more loving and caring environment − not an attitude that puts us at each other’s throats.
It’s time for the call of the yak to be silenced.