By, Juliette Nguyen

 

During boring lectures in dull classrooms filled with the monotonous tone of teachers’ voices, students either turn to their phones or take a pleasant snooze.

Once their phones are out, a large majority of high school students succumb to skimming the timelines and newsfeeds of the now popular apps, Yik Yak, Timehop, and Twitter. The more recent apps, Yik Yak and Timehop, have become extremely popular as of late, engaging users by their unique formatting and style.

Twitter grants its users the power to “tweet” whatever is on their mind and share other forms of social media. It also enables  them to promote their friends or businesses and other types of accounts.

“I think Twitter is a very controversial social networking site that teens go to reveal their inner alter ego. Twitter allows teens to say whatever they say without any judgement,” junior Alex Huerta said. “I personally like Twitter because I tweet cool things that will get retweets and people will have a laugh with them.”

Timehop lets users feel nostalgic by pulling up old tweets, Instagram photos, or Facebook statuses, which give students the chance to reflect upon themselves.

Compared to Twitter, Yik Yak and Timehop have just around  250,000 and 1,000,000 users, respectively, while Twitter has 232 million users.

Despite the fact that these social media applications are widely known and have built up a lot of hype, certain aspects of the apps have negative effects, such as cyber bullying that simply cannot be avoided.

“I think Timehop is really creative and it catches people’s attention, because it show them things they’ve said or done in the past and they’re able to compare that to how they are now. So, basically, I think students like it because they can see how much they’ve changed over time,” senior Alexa Cabal said.

Timehop allows for users to see themselves as they were before and compare that to who they are now. The attitude that Timehop promotes is largely positive, although it has the potential to cause someone sorrow or even agitation.

“It’s a great app to sync all your social networks to, so you can reminisce on what you were like one, two, or three years ago. For the most part, a common effect on everyone would probably be nostalgia, and I think that’s a bittersweet effect for everyone,” said senior Arzie Mescudi. “Some moments they miss, only to come to the realization that a tweet is the most they can get.”

Yik Yak is an app that shields its users by making them anonymous. Then, “yakkers” are able to “yak” or see “yaks” to and from the nearest 500 yakkers.

“I think some people like it because they’re able to say whatever they want anonymously, but a lot of people use it to say rude things about one another or rude things about other schools and that’s never any good,” Cabal said.

For example, one yak that was posted aimed profanity towards Olympian and Otay students and faculty alike.

Regardless of some of the atrocious comments made on these social media sites, there are also positive effects; Twitter, Yik Yak, and Timehop contribute to the culture of today’s youth.

“What’s life without a little bit of controversy?” Huerta said. “We use random apps so we feel a part of something.”