Recovering Helicopter Parent Uses Yik Yak to PEEK Into College Life


With widespread adoption of social networks for maintaining relationships, it’s become increasingly easy to peep into the lives of the people around us. This may have led to a trend in aggressive oversharing, which exposes more of our data more often. With this exposure, it seems that parents have been able to get greater insight into the lives of their children, even if they’re attending college.

Lori Rozsa, a contributor to the New York Times Motherlode blog, provides insight into college life by using Yik Yak’s remote feed viewing feature — PEEK. Rozsa’s experience as a “recovering helicopter parent” drove her to investigate her child’s college feed. Since these updates were anonymous, she was only able to get a general sense of the campus, and not specific updates from her child.

Rozsa writes:

If you happen to have a kid at one of those colleges, you can get some insight into what is going on there, the good and the bad. That’s why I peek. It’s like an unofficial newsfeed from a college, targeting just that campus. It’s not what you see on Facebook and Twitter, and it is definitely not the view you get at Parents and Family Weekend.

Social media has made it easier than ever to pry, and while safety is a prime concern another concern has emerged too: reputation management. Data from a Pew Research study revealed that nearly 70 percent of parents are concerned that the online activity of their children could have negative long term impacts.

And where else but college do most young people make their mistakes? There is a long list of people who have damaged their careers by posting to social networks, and college students have been expelled for their social media activity. Indeed, parents may be right to be concerned, even when it comes to anonymous apps.

Image courtesy of Yik Yak’s Facebook page.

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