I’m not a huge user of social media. I do have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account and I post occasionally on them – usually things that pertain to my family and sometimes ministry items. But I rarely look on these apps or websites to see what other people are doing. This has caused some of my friends to accuse me of being a selfish social media user. That may be true in ways, but I just don’t spend time browsing around these sites.
But, I have recently been doing so on Yik Yak and, oh my, is this interesting. In fact I have been doing a little social experiment with it. Before I explain that let me just say this: if you work with college age people and are NOT on Yik Yak…you gotta wake up and create an account. If you want to see how the people you are trying to reach think, gain insight into what they are actually talking about and thinking through or struggling with…you need to create an account right now.
The app is unique in that nobody knows who ANYONE is. It’s also based on geography…so you only see posts that are around you – and it’s derived from college campuses. So, in other words, you get the real deal from those students around you…and people throw out questions or thoughts that are unbelievably intriguing. Granted, this is not a Christian app…so you will read things that can be a bit, well, unlike Jesus. But it does give you an amazing glimpse into the minds of people.
All that said, here is how I have approached this little experiment I’ve been doing. I have been posting (because nobody knows who I am) a variety of different types of posts to see what sort of things get responses. The interesting thing about this is that your posts can also be voted off. So, you can up-vote or down-vote what people are saying and after a certain number of down-votes (I think it’s 5) your post is deleted. So, here is what is interesting:
Every single thing I’ve posted about the Christian faith has been deleted. Every one with no exceptions.
I have experimented with this in both the Portland and Los Angeles areas. I have even tried posting ambiguous things and they were still voted off. For instance, at one point I made up something and posted this, “Rethinking Christians. Just met a guy that was actually pretty cool. This is a first for me.” That post was voted-down and was deleted.
The other interesting thing was every post about relationships has been voted-up and even had replies. For instance, while at Disneyland last week I made up a post and said, “That moment when your girlfriend from high school is in line behind you. Say hi or no?” This post had many up-votes and even replies. All relationally focused ones have remained on. It’s been an interesting little experiment. I also found this post to the right interesting…notice the one reply at the moment of taking this pic.
– Chuck / @chuckbomar