The Yik-Yak Revolution
There is a social media app popular on campuses nationwide called Yik-Yak. The way it works is that short Twitter-like messages (yaks) can be posted anonymously within a short-radius area. The best yaks are then voted up or down a list by those within a given place. All these short messages, however, disappear into oblivion after a short time.
The attitude of many of the students now disrupting college campuses resembles this popular social media app. They seem to have adopted a “Yik-Yak” mentality where feelings, impressions, and resentments rule inside a worldview that is local, unstructured, and chaotic.
Indeed, those in authority are mystified as to how to deal with this nameless movement that does not seem to be playing by the old rules of using logic and facts. It lacks the dynamism and internal logic of student movements of the past.
Call it a Yik-Yak Revolution because there are no rules at all. Rather there are simply those intense and anonymous feelings and resentments inside given “micro-spaces.” These extremely local protest mobs seem to have no visible leaders or chiefs, but rely upon the action of the tribe that votes up and down the sentiments and emotions of their members.
These childish students represent a postmodern deconstructed generation that has detached themselves from traditional labels like Christian or Western. What is important to them is a subjective, insular, and self-absorbing vision, which would perhaps be better characterized as a blindness. Inside their tribes, these students demand to be insulated in a “safe space,” a kind of academic playpen that keeps out all “microaggressions” that are systemic, threatening, or hateful. However, these same students feel free to express their own offensive and hurtful rhetoric. With incredible vitriol, they have no problem condemning all those who oppose them as racists or bigots. They present their lists of impossible “demands” calling for the end of making distinctions (which they call “phobias”) and for the proliferation of disorders (which they call “genders”).
In the final analysis, like all true revolutionaries, these pampered children of postmodernity really want no concrete solutions. Rather they desire revolutionary changes, which will further overthrow the structures of higher learning. They ultimately want a world without structures where everything will be like their vanishing yaks. All must be ephemeral, relative, and without consequences or responsibility.
Alas, it needs to be said that the university has long forsaken its principal mission of searching for truth and forming character. It has turned itself into a machine churning out career paths, parties, and student debt. The system has produced vacuous curricula that are the breeding grounds for the Yik-Yak Revolution. Academia is merely reaping what it has sowed.
Obviously, not all youth (or those who use the app) are part of this Yik-Yak Revolution. There are still many young people that cling to common sense, hold Christian values, and desire certainties.
However, what is disturbing is that a significant number of people (some attending Ivy League schools) who have adopted this Yik-Yak mentality and are now staggering further down the same nihilistic path that ruined so many lives after the sixties. Yet worse, there are doting media that cater to these students and give them a platform upon which to proclaim their empty message. There are groveling administrators who have all the conditions to restore order but concede to their least demands.
This Yik-Yak Revolution needs to be exposed and opposed for what it is -- a further degeneration of the Sexual Revolution of the sixties. For if the Sexual Revolution helped destroy the external moral structures of tradition, custom, or community, then this next step will destroy those internal structures of logic, identity, or unity that define the individual and make order possible in society. It will reduce everything to insignificant yiks and yaks.
John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book, Return to Order. His writings have appeared worldwide including in The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Post, American Thinker, TheBlaze, Crisis, FOX News, and the Washington Times, as well as other publications and websites. He is director of the Tradition, Family, Property Commission for American Studies and lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania.