The Students of Hood River Valley High School are in danger. They are infected with a very dangerous trend. Symptoms include cruel words, hurt feelings, and obsession. This infection is spreading rapidly, and it’s time we do something to stop it. Yik Yak, an app that allows users to share their thoughts anonymously, has invaded HRVHS.
Yik Yak is an application designed for mobile smart phones. It was created to act as a local feed of the most recent posts from other users in your area. Yik Yak provides a way to share news, funny experiences, shout outs, and jokes, anonymously, making it possible to connect and share information with others, without even knowing who is on the other end. In its description in the mobile app store, Yik Yak is described as a place to “create quality content.” However, the students at HRVHS are not following this suggestion.
Yik Yak began as a popular way to say funny things on college campuses. College students used the app to give shout outs to “the girl in the red sweater who’s lookin’ fine on the library steps,” or complaints about certain professors who give “way too much homework over fall break.” Yik Yak was seemingly harmless when used by college students on college campuses. When it first infiltrated our high school, the app was full of silly, harmless comments as well. But when more and more students downloaded Yik Yak, HRV teenagers began abusing its anonymous atmosphere, and it became vicious and cruel. “This new app called Yik Yak seems to be the only thing anyone is talking about.” says HRVHS senior, Taylor Simonds. “It gives people a chance to say hurtful things about whoever or whatever, without having to deal with any consequence.”
Students have been using Yik Yak to target specific individuals. Hiding behind the fact that nobody will ever be able to find out who typed what, they say hurtful things about other HRV teenagers. Although the Yik Yak obsession is dying, the app continues to provide a cyber-bullying safe-zone to all teenagers. The HRVHS Guidance office is aware of this outbreak, and has been making serious efforts to fill the school with positive energy. With help from several HRVHS students, positive, happy notes are being posted around the halls, reminding students that this school is a place where they can feel safe, and accepted.
By Anneke Virk