Yik Yak, a new form of social media that allows its users to be anonymous when posting, has become a subject of controversy among the Johnson University student body.
With so many social media sites already in existence, it was only a matter of time before yet another one emerged. Yik Yak is an application created for most modern smartphones and allows those who use it to post statuses anonymously, or with only a username.
According to Yik Yak’s website, it uses a GPS location system designed to show what others within a 1.5 mile radius are posting.
The app includes a user controlled rating system, which allows participants to vote comments up or down.
If a certain post gets enough up votes, that post can become part of the sites history. If any post gets enough down votes, then the post will be deleted.
Some students have expressed a concern about the potential harm such an app can cause. Heather Sharp, 21, a Johnson student, is one of the many who refuse to take part in this new form of social media.
“I feel like people have too many opinions and that they can hurt people with their opinions,” she said. “Like, it can be fun, where you can say hilarious stuff and it’s funny but some people just take it way too far.”
Tyler Dantzler, 22, another Johnson student has a more positive view of the site.
“As a person who grew up in the church, I grew up believing you had to put up a front,” he said. “You had to pretend to be this perfect person so I feel that Yik Yak is a way to let your true colors show and be the real you.”
Dantzler acknowledged the potential harm that could come from the anonymity of the app, but nonetheless still looked at the app with a positive outlook.
“There are also people who like getting on there because they like getting on people’s nerves,” Keith Boyd, another student at the university, said. “They like pushing buttons. You know some people are like that.”
He mentioned how many people have taken to posting Bible versus on the site.
“Spamming with Bible verses is just another way to get on people’s nerves” Boyd said.
Boyd was referring to other students who have been posting Bible verses in response to profanity and other crude statements.
He said that it may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but he questions whether or not posting the verses will have a long-term positive effect.
There are some students who are remaining neutral, neither partaking in the social media nor rallying against it.
For now, Yik Yak remains the topic of many conversations around the campus. Whether or not the application will be banned in the near or late future has yet to be determined.