Twitter reigns supreme

Nowadays, there are countless ways to broadcast your musings to the masses. Anyone with a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection knows just how many social media apps there are. Arguably, you can share your thoughts and feelings on too many social platforms. There are currently two apps that are reigning supreme in the social microcosm that is Sackville.

The first is the tried-and-true Twitter. Twitter has been around for a long time now, and we all know and love it. It’s a great way to find out what your friends are up to, or how they felt about a midterm they literally just took. It is also handy for following your crush or living vicariously through your favourite celebrity’s Twitter feed. In just a hundred and forty characters you can tweet out every meaningful or meaningless thought that floats through that coffee-soaked brain of yours. You can measure your self-worth in number of favourites and retweets you get. A real measure of an important person is their follower to following ratio.

People follow you on Twitter because they like what you have to say. What if you want everyone in your immediate area to know what you have to say? You could stand on the nearest table and shout your proclamations to what is sure to be a crowd of confused onlookers. But then there is the problem of those onlookers knowing who you are and what kinds of fucked-up opinions you have.

For those kinds of people, there is the other contender in this totally made-up app war, Yik Yak. For those who aren’t familiar with it, Yik Yak is a microblogging app where your messages are shown to everyone within a mile and half radius. Posts, or “yaks” as they are referred to in the app, can be voted up or down. Users can also comment on yaks and these comments can also be voted on. The real selling point for a lot of people is the lack of any kind of login system. Every post you make on Yik Yak is completely anonymous; there are no user names attached to any yak.

This is where things get messy. As we have seen in internet cesspools like 4chan, and the negative comments on MASU candidates, athletes and black activists more locally, anonymity can be a very scary thing. Under the veil of the internet, people will say all kinds of crazy shit to people they would never say in real life. But posts like those are among the minority. Most yaks are trivial, sometimes they are funny and they are almost always harmless. But the problem with Yik Yak is it allows anyone with dumb opinions and an internet connection to spew their toxic bullshit to the world with no repercussions for them at all.

It is for this fatal flaw that I dub Twitter the winner of this ridiculous debate. Having your name attached to whatever you write adds accountability and credibility. While it doesn’t guarantee there won’t be any mean people saying mean things, it does add an amount of quality control to the millions of voices all shouting into the digital void.

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