"Is Yik Yak still a thing?"
That's what my friend asked me last week while we sat around my apartment, ignoring our homework. It's a solid question, too. I personally have the app installed and it gets a fair amount of traffic, but is it still cool or even socially acceptable to admit to that? I have no idea.
The Yik Yak app, which was launched in 2013 as a means for college students to anonymously talk about professors, who won a basketball game, or cute people — generally, normal student stuff. It has been the subject of both praise and criticism due to its totally anonymous nature. These retractors do make a valid point. Personally, I've seen the app used as a platform for less enlightened individuals to shout their rude, racist, homophobic and otherwise less-than-awesome opinions out into the world.
On the other hand, I've seen people use it to compliment other students on their outfits, share good (if unsourced) news, and lend a kind word to anyone having a bad day. These people are willing to take time out of their days to talk to total strangers about their problems and urge these strangers to seek help. Best of all, most of the yaks mentioned above (ones that promote general unkindness) are down voted into oblivion as soon as they're posted.
In my experience, it's all about taking the good with the bad. Scrolling through Yik Yak is a great way to kill time in between classes, but it's still the first app to get deleted when my phone's storage is full (don't get me started on Apple's undeletable, totally useless pre-installed garbage — when am I ever going to use Apple Watch?). Still, I keep reinstalling it as soon as the problem is fixed. Call it voyeurism. Call it people-watching. Whatever it is, it's addictive, for better or for worse.