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Yo: Simple genius or simply useless?

The Yo app does only one thing -- you\'re looking at it. (Yo)

By Gregg Stebben, Men’s Health

WASHINGTON — There’s a hot new app out called Yo, and positive and negative reactions are both running very strong.

The app has also been hacked, which is notable for completely different reasons.

Here’s how the app works: You open the app, select a friend’s name, and send the friend a “Yo.” It’s kind of like a text message, only you can never say anything other than “Yo.”

I “Yo” you, you “Yo” me back. Get it?

You can see why many people think this is stupid. Because it is! But there’s also a beauty and elegance to it that’s worthy of discussion.

In my humble opinion, Yo is a brilliant way for people (or as it has been suggested to me, mostly teenagers and men) to send the message “I was thinking of you” even when we don’t really have anything more than that to say.

I have heard lots of parents say they never get to talk to their kids anymore, that they can only communicate by texting.

Yo makes it easy for a kid to tell Mom “I love you” by simply sending her a “Yo.” This brings a smile to Mom’s face, she Yo’s her child back. Child smiles, too. Nice.

You can see this same simple but thoughtful interaction occurring between couples.

Without Yo, perhaps these interactions never happen. That’s kind of sad, isn’t it?

Yo is available for free for both iPhone and Android phones.

As for the Yo app hacking, this is not a very dangerous hack, since Yo doesn’t have any particularly valuable personal information about users.

If you are a Yo user, all Yo knows about you is your phone number, whom you Yo and when you use Yo.

Still, the company’s reaction to the hacking is troubling, because they fixed the problem and then hired one of the hackers.

On one hand, this makes sense. Clearly the hacker is smart and knows the Yo platform well. On the other, it sends a bad message to other hackers and wanna-be hackers. Will others now conclude that the best new way to get a job is to go hack the intellectual property of a company if you want to go to work there?

Let’s hope not.

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