Friday, March 20, 2015

Negativity 2.0

Pop quiz: What social app has gone viral on college campuses across America where people within close proximately of each other can now anonymously share their thoughts?

Read On:
Answer: Yik Yak. 

Created in 2013 by two Furman students, you can download the app for free and then anonymously start bashing.  Correct, bashing! 

I first became aware of Yik Yak thanks to my social savvy friend Scott Anderson, an Executive Chef at Shepherd University.  He was monitoring feedback known as yaks about the food he was serving.  Across the country, in Yik Yak’s short history, numerous professors and students have been abused via posts with crude, demeaning and sometimes sexually explicit language.  Offensive racial and ethnic posts are common.  In one case at a major Midwestern institution, there was even a threat of mass violence. 

My query this morning: Why are the majority of Yik Yak’s posts negative?  Could it be that comments are posted anonymously or a result that everyone now has a voice thanks to social media.  Negatively 2.0 is predominant.  And remember, Yik Yak is mainly popular on college campuses, which are grooming our future leaders, work force.  If a majority of their commentary is negative, what will their commentary be like in five years?

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we build our youth for the future.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt


  1. It's a sad fact that it is "fashionable" to be snarky, rude or taken to the extreme, even disgustingly repugnant... that's what gets covered and spotlighted. Most of our country's leaders (politicians, business and religious leaders, entertainers, sports figures, educators) lack moral and ethical compasses, fostering a brooding cynicism among the young adults coming of age. When optimism and the rule of law are mocked... what can society expect?

  2. I agree with Joan that this negativity on campuses reflects larger cultural behaviors . I would add that the media focuses on the negative as it sells and positive narratives of heroism and other kindnesses rarely are Put forth