Luckey Charms: YikYak, the Scourge of Society

Will Luckey, Columnist


 It is too often that cowardice goes unpunished in our society, and cowards are the ones who easily inflict real damage.

Maniacs, sociopaths, and generally impolite people have always existed. In addition, people can harass others from the anonymous smoke screen of the Internet. The most recent example of this is the new smart phone app “YikYak,” which lets people post anonymous messages that go to anyone within a certain local radius. Naturally, people cannot resist the opportunity to insult individuals in a manner that exposes some of the darker shades of human behavior. Admittedly, not every post is vulgar. Some are just mindless thoughts, such as “I’m so hungover” or “the Internet here sucks.” But some of them are direct insults and accusations aimed at slandering students.

Now let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with being a jerk. This is America; you don’t have to be nice to anybody. But if you are going to insult someone, do it in person. Directly attacking someone to their face shows sincerity. For example, instead of talking about someone behind their back or from some anonymous Internet source, say it right to their face. Something like, “Walker, you smell bad and smile too much, and I peed on your couch last year on purpose because I think you deserved it.” Personal confrontation does lead to conflict, but it also lets out the bad blood and creates a better understanding of one another instead of repressed anger and pointless grudges.

Technology alienates us from the rest of our society. On YikYak, or other forms of social media, you do not have to think about the full ramifications of what you say. While it may be easy to insult someone anonymously, it is difficult to consider the damaging effect one mindless comment will have on someone else. Countless suicides that result from comments made online are proof. In-person confrontation forces us to remember who we are and the damage that we are capable of inflicting. If you truly mean to say something, it will be apparent in an in-person argument.

Author Robert E. Howard said that, “civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know that they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” This concept is embodied in YikYak. It allows cowards to be ruthlessly insulting from the safety of their keyboards, without having to pay the price for their comments. They do not have to worry about defending what they say, or giving the target of their aggression a chance to defend themselves.

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