Editorial: Cyber bullying, sexism dilutes social media

Liz Dowell, Copy Editor

It was my second night back and after a long day.

Deciding to relax for a bit and eating my supper of animal crackers, I decided to get back on social media.

After checking Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat I decided that I was bored enough to pull up Yik Yak.

It had your usual complaints: The freshmen are back, there are cornfields everywhere, even one saying that they were going to have a gourmet meal of Ramen in a sarcastic tone.

In my excitement to be back on campus I decided to do something I never do, I posted on Yik Yak.

“I’m so excited to be back on campus! I met some Marvel fans”

Within three seconds it was voted down three points; within two seconds it was voted off. As soon as I posted my Yak I got sexually harassed in the comments.

I sat there looking at my phone in disbelief. I had read some Yaks earlier that were talking about beating up freshmen and some very disturbing ones about how men see feminists, but my nice simple “I’m so happy to be here” Yak got voted down in five seconds.

As a feminist, I think I was more irked with the anti-feminist Yaks. This has been a continued thing on social media. Women who are open feminists are referred to as “man haters” and the more radical outspoken ones are referred to as “femi-Nazis.”

The word feminism was coined by Charles Fourier, a utopian socialist from the 1890s, in response to the feminist movement. The feminist movement caught the attention of the public when Betty Friedan’s book “The Feminine Mystique” explained the frustration and despair of college-education housewives who feel trapped at home with dreams unfulfilled.

At first, feminism was just to give women rights in the workplace; women still are not getting the same amount of pay men are, and now that media has become involved feminism has evolved into a battle of the sexes.

In my experience I never had anyone publicly go out of their way to insult a feminist face to face in person, unless they were doing some sort of rallying violent protest. But even with the Satirically Lessening Unfair Theories, a walk on campus event, I have not had any negative feedback at all. It has actually been positive, and the walk participants as increased each year.

So why are people on Yik Yak attacking other people’s life choices? Because they are scared of what is different from them.

Students who are new to Eastern and who have a Yik Yak read the posts and responses of other students from this area and get an assumption that Eastern students are not the most pleasant people.

This would be avoided if people decided not to be horrible human beings. I would say that getting rid of Yik Yak or if it never existed would solve the problem, but it would not.  Something different would come along and take Yik Yak’s place, and something will if we, as Eastern students, do not wake up and realize that being completely indecent human beings anonymously is just a different form of cyber bullying.

We already have low enrollment and people’s jobs are being cut, does the Yik Yak culture seriously want to scare away more freshmen or transfers?

Welcome to campus, here is a bunch of rude Yik Yaks.