Through the sea of bright pastel sweaters and backwards hats on the mystical aura of fraternity row, a young sorority girl runs away as if rejected like a disease.
Eyes full of tears and frantic with a look that says, "I hate my life," I can only wonder what cynical but possibly humorous dialogue that took place to make a girl feel so unwanted.
The answer is not a face-to-face assault, but rather one on the cracked screen of your iPhone. The culprit is an app called Yik Yak.
Yik Yak is a "Twitter-like" posting app that uses your location to start an anonymous board of comments that can be replied to, disliked or liked. Essentially, Yik Yak offers a way to say anything you want about anyone – and not get in trouble for it.
So, what's the big deal? Well, normally, before this app was in play, a person was held accountable by their friend list or imprisoned by their identity or profile picture.
When you had the urge to launch a violent diatribe against that annoying person that posted on Facebook every minute, you withheld your tongue. Through the Snapchat stories of the person who sends nothing but videos of their cats and dogs (you know who you are), you withheld. Any text, call, email or any kind of technological communication that you wanted to send to that person to give them a piece of your mind, you withheld out of concerns of accountability.
Now, the first free-flowing thought that punctures through the membrane of your mind is simultaneously flown onto technology.
There is no filter for those thoughts on Yik Yak; there is no such thing as etiquette and more profanity than the South Park episode about Tourette's Syndrome. The app is a coagulation of unrestrained thoughts and witty, yet sometimes nasty, humorous jabs at organizations.
Although much can be said about the heavy nature of insult on Yik Yak, it is a window to the collective truth in the minds of the society around you.
This merry-go-round of technology and the human psyche often ends with a wag of the finger and "tisk-tisk" at cyber bullying. Yik Yak puts itself in the line of fire from parents of children everywhere that could be insulted by this app or brought down by the insults it bares.
However, as many see only problems with such an app, I believe it offers a very deep look into what our society values today.
Being technologically dependent, our society values cyber communication as much as Honey Boo Boo values bacon. As a result, comments on the Internet are taken to heart and can weigh heavily on one without thick skin. Being a double-edged sword of truth and pain, there are only three true rules to follow on Yik Yak.
1) Don't dish it out if you can't take it yourself.
2) If someone doesn't deserve it or doesn't have thick skin, don't say it.
3) If you are going to insult, at the very least be clever.
Maybe if we all play somewhat fair, Yik Yak can be an enjoyable experience.
Teasing can be a benefit to most people, as criticism allows the chance to know the truth about what some people think about you.
It is truly up to you, as well as the rest of the victims of any cyber bullying, to decide whether to fall in a hole of self-pity or to rise to the occasion of self-confidence.
One thing to remember about the virtual world is that it is, by its own existence, only as real as you perceive it to be.
Cullen Hamelin is a junior in chemistry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.