Colbert on Yo: Y?

An app comes along that involves merely saying Yo. Stephen Colbert muses on its brilliance and its potential use in real-life situations.

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Y indeed? The Colbert Report Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I know I'm tearing you away from your new toy, or should I say yo' new toy?

But I have to bring you some news. No, it's not merely that your new toy has allegedly been hacked by a couple of youths in Georgia.

Wait, which toy am I talking about? Why, Yo, the app that lets you send "Yo" to a lot of people who might send "Yo" back. Or not.

This thoughtful invention has already raised over $1 million in funding and wafted up to No.5 in the app store charts.

It's clear, then, that our cultural and political leaders need to pay attention to this phenomenon, as they jostle for position in their own especially ignorant Game of Thrones.

Thankfully, Stephen Colbert, who straddles culture and politics like a hermaphroditic snail straddles itself, offered his informed opinion last night on Yo.

His impression is that the app is very popular with "the world's population of Sylvester Stallone."

He explained, though: "The true beauty is that it says so much."

If you still don't quite understand why this is so brilliant, let Colbert explain, with the help of Yo's creators: It's the context, stupid.

The message is short and sharp. What matters is who sent it and in what circumstances. Alright, there's a chance that you'll never know.

But what beauty can be beheld when you have to guess the intonation and intent.

It's hard enough with texts and emails already. Some people -- lawyers and engineers, for example -- struggle with nuance and come across as harsh, cold, and unfeeling. Even when they're being loving.

With Yo, they don't have to try so hard to string words together. Instead, the feeling is in the psyche of the beholder, where it should be.

What, though, if we could take Yo's brilliance and move it into the physical world? Colbert manages to offer a demonstration, together with his intern Jay.

When you watch this real-life interaction, you will understand why Yo represents the shining future of interpersonal communication.

 

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