We all do it. We all have some form of one, social media that is. The latest trends in the social media world include Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook (yes this is still around), and now the newest member of the social media world, YikYak. These apps, mostly a fun way to show the world what you are up to, have started to become a new way of bullying. Once a harmless, enjoyable app, Snapchat and YikYak have become easy ways for people to write degrading comments about other people. The app YikYak, developed by Yik Yak, LLC, is an app that allows users to “Get a live feed of what everyone’s saying around you”. Each user is anonymous but only allows you to see the post of people that are in a 1.5 mile radius of your current location. Originally, this app was created for college students but because there is no formal sign up, people of all ages are able to use it (when downloaded from the App store, a warning that the app is for people of the ages of 17+ is displayed but easily dismissed) . When a ‘Yak’ is posted, other users are able to either “upvote” or “downvote” it. The number of votes a ‘Yak’ receives either increases or decreases the amount of time it will be posted. Because each post is anonymous, there is no way of knowing who posted the comment, meaning a user can post a comment about another person, whether it is true or not, and get away with it. With a single comment, someone’s life can be easily hurt. Most people do not realize the effect that one cruel comment can do to a person. Sure, this app has the potential to be a way to communicate with others in your area about events that are occurring, but from what I have personally seen, this app is only being used to hurt others reputation or making fun of people.
Halloween is coming up, and you know what that means, Snapchat will be sending out a Snap to each of its users. Evan Spiegel released this app in July 2011, changing the social media world. For up to ten seconds, a user can send a picture or video to one of their “Snapchat Friends” and then it disappears. Or so people thought. What many users do not know is that each and every Snap that is taken and sent is stored in the company’s servers. In the company’s servers? Well that does not sound too bad, it’s not like someone has to time to go threw all of them and see everyone’s pictures or videos, and no one could hack it because it must be a secured thing, right? Sadly, that is not true. With a simple search on the Google machine, I found a site that allows you to create an account, if you are 13 or older of course, that will hack you into Snapchat’s server, allowing you to see any pictures that have been sent. Makes you question every picture you have ever sent? That ‘ugly selfie’ you sent to your best friends or a promiscuous picture that you sent to your significant other has probably been viewed by countless others. Nothing on the internet is temporary. Even if every trace is deleted, there is a way to find it. Next time you are about to Yak negatively about someone, or take a snap of someone and write a negative comment, remember that even if it is anonymous, or only last for ten seconds at most, there is a way to find it or trace it back to the original writer.