Pros and cons of anonymous social media

Jenny Horniman and Ross Passeck

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Pro:

By Jenny Horniman, For the Review

The anonymous social media app “Yik Yak” has been a game changer for students, providing quick and easy access to information circulating around campus.

Frequently described as an “anonymous Twitter”, Yik Yak is free and accessible to all students.
Posts range from opinions on the entrées at Dillin to reports of on-campus events.

Freshman Sarah Bell says that it “makes you feel more connected to other students, especially when everyone is stressed about exams.”

The app creates a safe place for people to express concerns and ask questions that they may otherwise feel uncomfortable addressing.

It is not uncommon to see posts asking for advice on what classes to take or places to go on campus to make friends.

The app shows students that they are not alone in their thoughts or opinions, and can be a support system in times of stress or despair.

The trending posts on the app are often a good indicator of hot topics on campus.

For example: following the UCC shooting there was a plethora of support posts circulating the app, showing the school’s unity and compassion.

The app promotes a sense of community among various types of students, and is an easy way to make information or opinions known throughout the student body.

The non-exclusive style of Yik Yak has been a contributing factor to its popularity and success on the Linfield campus.

 

Con:

By Ross Passeck, Sports editor

The armor of anonymity is worn by everyone on Yik Yak and people are shooting hate as if they are invincible.

The evolution of social media has seen its uprisings but the day has finally come where the consequences of words are almost entirely erased.

Yik Yak is a social media app that comingles the sullen spirits of desperately single people alongside party info and assorted jokes.

It is a silly place where everyone is told the value of their thoughts by way of the “upvote.”

The lawless landscape of Yik Yak could be a place where students receive information and jolly tidbits but, much like any other form of online media, hate surfaces quickely.

It is unfortunate that negativity explodes in such a manner but the reality is that Yik Yak is consistently polluted with misogyny, bigotry and overall distaste.

Even sadder, despite the policing capabilities of the “downvote,” negative posts remain a prevalent blight on the app.

Psychological studies have found where diffusion of responsibilities and deindividuation are permitted, human behavior reaches extremes.

There are those who spit out off-color and offensive phrases because they think it is funny but as the anonymity of the poster is preserved the group subjugated to their bigotry also remains unseen.

Face to face these things would never be said but distance makes the heart grow fonder and the insults grow harsher.

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Pros and cons of anonymous social media