Unnecessary addiction to social media fed by latest app

Karolyn Eilertsen, Contributing Writer

The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

WiGo — “Who Is Going Out” — is the new hyperlocal app allowing college students to see where everyone is going on a particular night.

Essentially, WiGo can eliminate the social stress involved with determining where the best parties will be and who will be there. A person can even “tap” someone they want to see out later. With an influx of social media sites and apps, however, many students feel as though it isn’t necessary to constantly stay connected.

Junior Galite Little said she considers the app to be a form of “legalized stalking.” She enjoys the spontaneity of meeting new people and said if she cared where someone was going, she would ask him or her personally.

Sophomore Rubi Ferras said it could present safety hazards for students, particularly young women. Though only college students are able to download WiGo, it might be dangerous to publicize one’s exact location.

WiGo’s inventor, Ben Kaplan, is a 22-year-old dropout from the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. In January 2014, he launched a preliminary version of WiGo with a small software development company. In just three weeks, over half his college campus had downloaded the app and WiGo continued to grow rapidly. Currently, over 800 schools in the country use it.

Kaplan and his team have made plans to further develop WiGo by including a way for users to upload comments, pictures and videos tied to a specific event — similar to a “My Story” in Snapchat. This way, individuals can relive the previous night’s fun the next day.

In our generation, we can satisfy nearly every question through Google or  “Facebook stalking” a person before ever meeting them. Apps such as Yik Yak, Twitter and Instagram supply us with a constant stream of news about events and people. Perhaps, the last thing we need is another app feeding our obsession with staying connected.

According to the American Psychological Association, social media can have dire effects on teens and young adults. Overuse of media and technology can lead to anxiety, depression and narcissistic tendencies.

Instead of adopting another app, why don’t we try connecting to people in our classes, dorms or clubs by asking what their plans are for the evening? We should base our social calendars on our own interests and desires, and live through our own experiences, rather than rely on a fear of having missed out.

Karolyn Eilertsen is a sophomore at Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be contacted at [email protected]