Anonymous social media’s effects on GS

Study Graphic

Bailey Adcock

Anonymous social media platforms run rampant in the college student community, GS being no exception, but these networks can have many negative effects.

Platforms like Yik Yak and Whisper allow students many opportunities to express themselves without worrying about others finding out their true identity.

However, there is a darker side to these apps and websites that people tend to ignore.

“There was an app called AfterSchool the beginning of my senior year of high school last year and there were always ugly things posted about people,” Shelby Todd, freshman multimedia journalism major, said. “At first I found them kind of funny until the rumors and nasty comments started coming toward me.”

As with any social media platform, the risk of emotionally harmful posts is high, but with anonymous posting, there is an even higher risk of hurtful comments because nobody knows who is posting these.

“There were things on there about me that had never happened before, that I was never aware of, and there were things that absolutely crushed my entire reputation as the innocent girl at school,” Todd said.

While cyber bullying runs rampant throughout high schools, it doesn’t always stop there. Students in college are still affected by anonymous cyber bullying.

“On Yik Yak once I mentioned that I’m a criminal justice major and I had some people tell me they hope I get killed in the line of duty,” Kayleigh McVey, junior justice studies major, said.

A study of the platform Whisper, conducted in Germany, found that about 28 percent of Whispers elicited negative emotions in readers, with responses like “hurt”, “ugly” and “nasty”.

Not only is cyber-bullying a major concern when it comes to anonymous social media, but there have been many incidents involving bomb/shooting threats. These threats were either serious or a joke, but there is no knowing this for sure.