The downfall of civilization is upon us, or at the very least, a certain breed of San Franciscans converging to bring on the apocalypse (i.e., a tech bubble crash) may soon get their wish. It’s been reported in one of my favorite neo-progressive missives, 48 Hills that a new app is upon us. It’s called Yo!
Yo! is an app that allows you to send one word (yo – formerly known as the Spanish word for “I”) to a friend, a colleague, your wife, etc. to let him or her know that you’re thinking about them.
In the 48 Hills piece by Julia Carrie Wong, with the fabulous title “What We Yo About When We Yo About Yo” (I’m a sucker for plays on Raymond Carver short story titles), we learn that Silicon Valley investors have just pumped $1 million into Yo!. The app is the concept of a tech CEO who “wanted an easy way to tell his personal assistant he needed to talk to her. So ‘Yo’ in that case was the equivalent of a ‘hey you girl,’ a bell pull, a throat clear, or a grunt.”
Wong, step-by-step, dismantles the Yo! website for us (saving you the pain of having to visit it, let alone download the app). She continues to tell us that the tech CEO who inspired the developer to build the app in just 8 hours (um…let’s see, that’s $1 million for 8 hours of work) uses “Yo! with his wife, so that…she knows he’s thinking about her, so she doesn’t bother him any more [sic].”
Yes, you too can use Yo! to tell your spouse, per Wong, “Yes dear,” “I love you,” “Not now dear,” and “Why did we get married in the first place?”
I’m going to bring this back to the word – not the bubble many of my fellow San Franciscans want to explode all over our pretty little heads. (For the record, I don’t want the bubble to burst, but I would like some of the newbies in town to show a little more respect for this great city – that is all.)
Where I come from – Norwalk, Connecticut, to be exact – the word “Yo!” was adopted by rich white kids to prove that our hometown was so diverse, its several small ghettoes abutted some of its most exclusive preppy enclaves. They shouted “Yo!” out of the shiny new cars their parents gave them when they turned 16 at kids like me who lived in the middle ground between these two extremes and were still walking to school, even though we had a driver’s license.
Long past conjugating “Yo!” in 6th grade Spanish, it’s Americanization has always seemed to be a way to summon the lesser. The rich kids may have been “Yo’ing” us light years ahead of this app, but the message was the same. “Hey, you, come here – now.” Often, they gave me a ride, shared some weed, played some tunes on the 8-track. In which case, “Yo!” may not be the end of the world – just the beginning of that.
Source: 48 Hills
Image source: Justyo.co