Yikkity Yak

Everyone’s favourite way of venting their frustration about their housemates

If you don’t have Yik Yak yet, I’d like to ask you where you’ve been the last year.

For those of you who haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, let me break it down for you. Yik-Yak, was brought over by the americans (in high abundance in St Andrews) and although it probably did exist before, it’s kind of evolved into a major thing over this last year. It’s basically like twitter, but with more characters, completely anonymous and even more excellent because if you appreciate someone’s wit then you can up vote it, or if you think someone’s yak is equatable to your aunt’s Facebook statuses- you can down vote it. You can even reply to yaks, making anon friends in the anon world, and even real life ones. Often you see people sharing their locations and using it to hook up.

It served as an excellent procrasto-break, and Yik Yak was en-pointe during exams, peaking 250 up-votes for it’s first class humour. There wasn’t a day where I scrolled through my feed thinking that if these yakkers failed their exams they could genuinely become comedians. Well, silent ones at least.

Sometimes, Yik Yak tells me more about current affairs than the news, radio or simply living in the real world does. There was that time the police turned up on Hepburn gardens for a drug raid. At that time I also lived on Hepburn gardens and had been in my house the entire day with no clue as to what was happening; until it popped up on my yak feed.

But the best thing about Yik Yak is it’s community spirit. In a world (or a St Andrews) full of people who’s airbrushed Lightbox profile pictures are as perfect as their grades, BMI and social life, to me it is incredibly refreshing that there are people out there that go through the same ups and downs I do. The majority of Yik Yak is people satirically poking fun of their lives. Like that time a friend of mine yakked about the fact his prom date had got married that day, but meanwhile he had just ate a whole packet of biscuits in less than five minutes. The fact that many a person multiply asks ‘Netflix and chill’ reinforces to me that not everyone here is coupled off and people are lonely. People talk about mental illnesses, self confidence issues, real stuff. And usually there is an outpouring of support to people brave enough to share.

So I plea my case that Yik Yak does not just serve as a standard social media outlet, but instead runs as a community that makes you aware that everyone else has just the same thoughts you do. I think anonymity over the internet always gets such a bad press, but this level of freedom can sometimes be turned into a good thing, and the St Andrews Yik Yak is a clear form of that.