Blame Reddit

Amalie Knudsen

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Screenshot of the reddit submission that led to a Applebees-waiter losing her job.
Screenshot of the Reddit submission that led to a Applebees-waiter losing her job.

As a student, I would appreciate it if grades were given on behalf of how good we are at procrastinating. If that was the case, I believe we all could learn a lot more. Especially if you find your way to the world’s number one source of procrastination: Reddit. If you ever feel like you «been through everything on the Internet», you can not be familiar with Reddit.  

Reddit is not the place where you get lost online, it’s the place that gets you lost online. Founded in June 2005 by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in Medford MA, both 22-year-old graduates of the University of Virginia, Reddit has grown to be one of the biggest social news and entertainment websites in the world. In 2012 Reddit had over one billion page views each month. It’s hard to understand how big Reddit is without a first-hand experience, but try to imagine the President of the United States answering your questions online. That’s what happened when President Obama had an IAMA “I Am A, Ask Me Anything”, on Reddit, August 2012.

Reddit is user content generated, with barely any restrictions, and the “Redditors” votes up and down the content of the site, eliminating the boring stuff, and enhancing what is interesting, weird, or entertaining. Without being aware of it, we are exposed to Reddit every day. The funny memes on Facebook? Originated as a link on Reddit. The bizarre story on the news? The reporter got it on Reddit.

The most recent example is the story of the pastor and the Applebee’s waiter. Last week the story about the receipt that told “I give God 10% so why should you get 18?” went viral. And it all started here, on Reddit, where the waiter uploaded a picture of the receipt.

Of course, with few, or no restrictions, you sometimes cringe a little before clicking the picture links on Reddit. But most of the time you get fun everyday stories, and real life experiences from all over the world. Even though the majority of Redditors are American male graduates, you get a lot of thoughtful information and discussions with thousands of people all over the world. The Redditors also work as an opinion maker, forming social movements. Reddit’s ability to “rate out” nonsense bogus posts and trolling, makes its content reliable and filled with rational substance.

The best part? No commercial interests interfering with the content. Of course you have the compulsory cat video,

but also Native Americans shutting down anti-illegal immigration protests.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C3au60aTe4

This video is likely to have been buried on YouTube, but was saved by Redditors. The video had about 200 views yesterday, and today it hit almost 18 000. (Edit. This video got picked up by mainstream media, and the original was removed, and new edited “professional” pieces were uploaded by media corps. The above video is not the original piece.)

By going through Reddit exploring it and understanding it, it gives you a whole new key to the Internet, that helps you filter the gold from the sand, and leads you to interesting discussions about politics and religion. You get to view the newest YouTube videos before Buzzfeed steals them, and links to articles you never would have read, if it weren’t for Redditors sharing them, and other Redditors giving them an upvote.

So as you’re procrastinating, and I know you are, get my heartfelt advice, stop wasting your time on the Daily Mail, and the Facebook newsfeed. Spend some time on Reddit, and maybe for once, you’ll be the one sharing the news. And when people say you’re acting up, knowing everything before everyone else, having all the fun facts in your back pocket, just blame Reddit.

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Amalie Knudsen

Norwegian studying in Dublin, you can find me as @amalieknudsen both on Twitter and Instagram, and if you remove @ and ad .com, you got my blog.

  • Interesting article! I’m not a member of Reddit myself, but it seems to becoming more and more mainstream lately. Might have to check it out.

  • Anne

    This was a really interesting article, Amalie!!

  • Killian murphy

    Convinced me! I’d be so alternative that I want to know things first 😛

    • Amalie Knudsen

      Its always fun to be the first one.

  • Christian Wessel

    This is actually a very good representation of what makes Reddit som fascinating. The procrastination line hits a little too close to home, though. Will send this to friends so I don’t have to keep explaining what Reddit is. Thanks

    • Amalie Knudsen

      Thank you, Christian. Im so glad Redditors approve of my description of their “home”.

  • Kristin Karlsson

    Obviously the new online hangout site so! I really needed something else to distract me from college 😉

  • Lina

    Thanks to this piece I was on Reddit until 3 in the morning 😛 Good job Amalie!

    • Amalie Knudsen

      You can scout Redditors by the dark rings around their eyes 😉