My kids’ school district brought to our attention a specific social media app that has filtered down from college campuses to our High School and making its way to Middle School. The app can be used to harass other students and staff and in some cases an insidious tool for bullying. Its name is Yik Yak and it could be on your kids device.
About Yik Yak
From Eanes ISD:
“Yik Yak is the latest in a line of social media apps using location
services to post messages to those around the user. These
messages are anonymous, but they are not untraceable. This app
has had many issues across the country at both high school and
college level. While Yik Yak claims to have set up a Geofence
(blocking cell data) around our schools, there are cases where
students have been able to go out of range to post their messages.
Here are some steps you can take as a parent to identify if this app
is a problem for your child and what you can do to prevent its use.!
If your child has the app, you can search what Yaks they have posted by clicking on “Me” and “My Yaks” inside their app. This will show you what they have posted, but know they can delete their yaks. However, you can see if they have ever posted on Yik Yak (even if they deleted the posts) by checking their “Yakarma” points in the upper left corner. By default, it’s set to 100. If they voted on a y!ak, posted a yak, replied, or shared, the number will change.!”
If you find that your kid has been using the app, I would suggest you open up a dialogue and find out why they want to use it. It is probably a good idea to delete the app off their phone. If you don’t see the app, but suspect it may have been downloaded, you can also check in the Updates section of the App Store under “Purchased” on your child’s phone. All apps ever downloaded are stored in there.
A Bigger Issue Is at Hand
But while deleting the app is a fix for the time being, the bigger issue for our kids is that social media and the myriad of tools to utilize it can hurt them (and others). NOTHING on the internet is really anonymous or temporary. Another reason why if your not talking to you’re teen on a consistent basis your not doing your job.
One of Kidventure’s goals is to promote positive opportunity for our kids to shine light on the negative stuff that brings us all down. If you want to learn more about Yik Yak and the serious issues associated with its use please read 3 Things Kids Need to Know About Yik Yak.