yik yak

Cynical Cornellian: A+ Smartphone Apps

January 16, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Love, Tech

As I often state, “College is the time to be an adult!” By that, I don’t mean that college is the time to make long-term decisions or even mature ones. Rather, college is the time to learn how to live like a starving artist in a low-rent apartment, in which your dinners consist of ramen noodles and saltine crackers and your daily routines consist of perusing your Tumblr dashboard and posting ironic Facebook statuses to hide the fact that you truly despise where your life has headed. All cynical college student jokes aside, being an adult in college means being broke and bored (still cynical, but hey, I’m a college kid).  So here’s a list of wonderful, life-improving/life-altering phone apps and websites that might make you just a tad bit less cynical about your slowly degrading adult life.

"Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up."

“Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up.”

Seamless/Grubhub: This is the pinnacle of foodie heaven (I’m a foodie, so you can trust me on this one). Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up. The application has the added function of dividing restaurants into food categories/genres (Pizza, Chinese, Sushi, Indian, etc.). Personally, I love the app because it categorizes restaurants based on distance and customer ratings. Moreover, I love having access to the menus in an organized fashion—I have a legitimate phobia to entering a dining establishment only to be bombarded with a huge menu and an impatient waiter/cashier. Seamless gives me the options with an unlimited supply of time to think about, and research/find pictures of, the food that I’m about to use my limited supply of money to purchase (as a cynical, broke college kid, you have to be economical). Use the app for any meal of the day—or late night, if you’re about that all-nighter life.

Tinder: Dating is tough. Dating in college is tougher. It’s true that college is probably going to be the time of your life in which you have the largest supply of potential life partners. From that perspective, you would assume that finding a date and, eventually, a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner would be as easy as reading a children’s pop up book (sans the people who are illiterate or have a phobia to paper that unfolds and pops out at you when you turn the page). Unfortunately, dating in college is not that simple—for reasons unbeknownst to me. Tinder makes everything so much easier! You make an account by linking your Facebook to the Tinder app, your Facebook profile photos sync to the app and become your main photo stream, you write a witty and provocative description, and you swipe right to all of the cuties! If you get matched, you send an awkward and slightly inappropriate greeting and cross your fingers that you’ll get lucky tonight. I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!

"I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!"

“I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!”

Yik Yak: Imagine seeing Regina George’s burn book but with names kept out of the hateful messages and the pages being short, electronic posts. Once you can conceptualize this, you’ve conceptualized Yik Yak. An anonymous social media app, YY allows users to upload rude, comedic, or somewhere in-between posts that get disseminated to an audience in a 10-mile radius. So if you’re bored and absolutely hate that girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library, post a status about that girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library and hope that people in that incredibly silent library give you a thumbs up—also hope that the girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library reads the post and turns off that garbage that she calls music.

And there you have it: three apps that I consider to be A+ material for college kids struggling to be adults in a world where being an adult is a massively depressing ordeal that requires a trust fund or sugar daddy to truly be happy. Am I cynical? Yes. Are these apps A+? Absolutely.

Yik Yak: The New Twitter

October 15, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Reviews, Tech

 

Yik Yak’s mascot

Our generation loves Twitter for many reasons. It encourages us to share thoughts with one another that, if “good enough,” get rewarded with the social capitol that takes the form of favorites and retweets. Unfortunately, this capitol is not an acceptable form of payment when it comes to your school loans. Twitter also is a way of being “social” while still actually just being very self-involved, which admittedly, is something our generation can’t get enough of.

What is the one problem with Twitter? We can’t be completely honest because our darkest, most controversial thoughts will be tracked back to us, and the vulnerability in such honesty is not something our generation likes because it thins the veil between our real selves and the social media personality we construct for ourselves. (Don’t think you have a social media personality? Have you ever removed a tag from a Facebook photo? I rest my case) Thankfully, the new app Yik Yak has come around to allow college students to be incredibly misogynistic, racist and mean without having to tarnish their social media reputation.

Yik Yak is essentially Twitter, without deciding whose thoughts show up on your timeline, because instead, your geographic location decides what shows up for your reading pleasure/disgust. When a Yak is funny, you “upvote” it, and if it is not funny, you “downvote” it. You can also comment on someone’s yak, and each comment has the same voting situation as regular Yaks.

There are some pretty common types of Yaks you will encounter

  • Misdirection comedy: “Someone asked me about my views on lesbians… Apparently ‘usually in HD’ wasn’t the answer they wanted”
  • Too shy to introduce themselves: “The boy who just walked past me and smiled wearing the blue shirt omg you are so cute I wish I could have talked to you! :)”
  • Mad about something on campus: “I want to closeline every fucking longboarder that rides past me”
  • Poop-related Yaks: “5 sips into my coffee and I feel like I’m going to shit myself”
    (Real Yaks courtesy of BSU Yik Yak)

So what’s the problem with Yik Yak? Nothing, if you’re not a particularly sensitive person. And in this case, you really don’t have any right to be sensitive. It is an anonymous social media app with limited to no credibility. A lot of users enjoy getting a rise out this population of sensitive users. They’ll post something very controversial just to get angry replies. What’s the point in feeding into something like that, when there is no way to find out who is saying those things?

If this article is coming off as critical, I don’t mean to be because this is actually my favorite new app. Yik Yak is a perfect mindless app because it doesn’t matter who is saying the things that are on there, it just matters if you are entertained in someway while you wait outside a classroom for your class to start. However, I do think in 150 years when an intergalactic species invades our planet and enslaves our race, they’ll come across Yik Yak and realize it’s really just tiny vignettes of art.