What Anonymous Smartphone Apps Say About A Society

While I mostly partake in apps like WhatsGoodly and Yik Yak for the sake of snooping and just overall being nosy, after going from a school where the apps were blocked to a place where students are able to use it freely, I’ve noticed some pretty appalling things about what the things that are posted on these smartphone apps say about the population (mostly the young population) as a whole.

Since these apps are anonymous, it is hard to tell what age group these posts represent, but considering the fact that a university campus dominates most of the town, it can be safe to assume that the people who utilize these apps most are within the 18-22 year old range. The posts can range anywhere from complaints about school to social activism and politics. But what stands out the most is how many people use the apps for negative reasons – to be condescending, to put down others, to criticize social and political groups, the list goes on and on.

Just today, I found out that the occasional posts asking, “Are all sorority girls shallow?” or “Are all sorority girls emotionless?” or “Should all top tier sorority girls be ghosted?” was just a meme – not a legitimate concern by any one person. I spent hours last night trying to convince a guy that sorority girls weren’t actually emotionless only to find out today that it was all just a part of a joke, and a common joke at that.

What kind of person – or groups of people – joke like that?

Regardless of what the character of the majority of the Greek men and women on this campus actually is, in what world is it just OK to make fun of them or perpetuate something so cruel?

It is truly amazing how much you can learn about people in general on an app where anonymity is widespread. Of course, it’s not fair to generalize about the whole campus based on a few people, but the vast majority of people seem to be obsessed with sex, making politically incorrect comments (like ‘BLM is going to start a race war’), talking badly about an individual or group, or the latest trend, Pokemon Go.

Sure, some of the posters could be sarcastic or joking, and sure, freedom of speech exists, but it really shouldn’t extend to apps like these, or speech that is hateful or offensive. Even though we can’t really know who these people are for sure, what we do know is that this is what they think about on a daily basis. Even people you do know could be thinking these things deep down, and only express those things on anonymous apps like these, and you could never know.

I don’t know why this app was created or why it’s still around, but I really wish that it wasn’t. Maybe if it wasn’t around anymore, people would get off their high horses and start treating others much better than they are.


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