‘Yik Yak’, paddy whack, give the dog a bone

Yik Yak: the place to go to find out the pulse of Calvin College. Yik Yak’s anonymity allows for truth to be stated without any repercussions. Not only is it informative, but it also provides a sort of entertainment to the reader, with people constantly trying to get the most upvotes on their anonymous Yik Yak to heighten their self-esteem.

The posts made on Yik Yak generally fall into three categories: information on the goings-on of Calvin, funny truths for everyone to relate to, and desperate girls and boys hoping to find a partner or a hookup through the Internet. Sometimes the comments are funny, but other times the comments can be crude and offensive. Not too long ago, Chimes featured an article written by Angel Briones and Jonas Weaver, focusing on the offensive posts on Yik Yak regarding UnLearn Week. “These Yaks demonstrate something more difficult to stomach — that we have failed to see education as a movement toward justice, which means we’ve failed to see how UnLearn Week helps with the cultivation of justice,” the authors wrote.

Personally, I believe Yik Yak can bring out the worst in people. With great anonymity comes great responsibility. Too much of Yik Yak presents Calvin in a negative light. The hushed crowd at LOFT when Pastor Mary announced that she reads Yik Yak proves I am not the only one who believes this. Prospective college students, future employees and anyone that wishes can see Calvin’s Yik Yak. Though they might not know who posted these things, they do know it comes from Calvin College. As Christians and representatives of Calvin, we should be displaying Calvin in the best light possible.

Yik Yak also perpetuates rumors. Like a dog with a bone, it is easy to hear about something that happened on Yik Yak, and run with it. This happened a week ago, when the whole campus heard about the “fight on third VR.” According to Yik Yak, there was a fight, where apparently “someone got their hair pulled out.” Since I live  on third VR, I had many people ask me what happened. The truth is, there never was a fight. The rumor had no grounds whatsoever, and no one knows who posted that Yak. With Yik Yak, there is no guarantee that the information is truly accurate. This is a scary power given to college students.

There are certainly redeeming factors to Yik Yak, such as the witty posts and the truthful information posted on it. However, Yik Yak also perpetuates lies and negative views of the Calvin population. The Internet has “given us a bone” with this new power of total anonymity. Do we take it, and let our sinful nature leak out? Or do we take it, and continue to exemplify Christ through truthful and wholesome statements?