Yik Yak – Getting students to talk – For Better or For Worse

Jinpa2

If you are a student at Uni in the US, chances are that you have heard of Yik Yak, Secrets or Whisper. These are the new generation of social applications that have been gaining a lot of tractions at schools across the US. What makes them special? Anonymity and localization.

When I first read about these applications I quickly started to see the potential for these application. Especially in allowing the students to feel free to say what ever they feel like saying. The analytics alone would be a fascinating study in college behavior. Imagine a world where people could truly say what ever they felt like saying and be heard by thousands of the people around you. Would people agree with you? Are you the only one thinking this? It is in it’s truest form the freedom of speech. For better or for worse.

Quickly the dark side of anonymity emerged showing you just how dark the minds of the younger generation can be. Though, I would assume the racist, sexism, and violent messages don’t represent a whole community, it is hard not to shudder to think that there is a person out there who has these thoughts… and people that are willing to give it s plus.

I found this article interesting because it brings up an interesting debate around technology and society. Who needs to change and who should take the blame? The people that say these things or the people that give them the outlet? Obviously, this is not a black and white issue, but it raises an interesting dilemma as we create new technology.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/09/technology/popular-yik-yak-app-confers-anonymity-and-delivers-abuse.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

I see the potential in anonymity… if only there was a way to create that open form of dialogue around issues that actually matter.