Hah, I would’ve never even thought about writing a post like this a year after my first one. But I am, and I’m writing about this because I feel it might help others too.
I used to be a proud Redditor, bragging about it a lot, even if never really persuading anyone to join me (but I did try). I was a part of a ton of communities, wrote quite a lot of comments and spent a lot of time there. Like, a lot. But for a long time, I didn’t realise that at all.
When I’m on a phone or laptop, I have a tendency to constantly refresh, recheck and update whenever I had a free moment. And since you can’t really update or tweak or whatever on an Android phone (unlike with Arch, which I’m in the process of leaving, but that’s a different story), I spent that initiative on Reddit. At the time RedReader (my Reddit app of choice) was my most used app of all. I wasn’t spending that much time, but it definitely was an hour a day, at least, refreshing and refreshing.
One would think that for an hour a day one would get a tonne of valuable information, but to be frank, that just isn’t true. Yes, you get a lot of information on hobbies and the such, but for them to get to you, they have to get viral. You no longer curate stuff depending on your own interests, it gets curated for you by the masses. The other significant occupiers of your front page are mostly memes, gifs, jokes and other temporary low-quality satisfactions.
Another problem is the comment section, the biggest and most pointless time-killer of all. If you think you are doing yourself any good by reading them, you aren’t. Trust me, very few credible people go there. Reading them will just slowly, but surely, morph your opinions to conform to the popular opinion.
When I finally realised that I was spending far too much time looking at memes and watching gifs I decided to clean my subreddit subscriptions, throwing out all the meme and ‘for-fun’ ones, leaving me only with the ones that interested me, assuring myself that my time on Reddit will now be utilised much better. I even subscribed to news subreddits thinking that’ll make me an expert in terms of what is going on.
Thankfully, on one day, I ventured here. Who would’ve thought Randall Monroe would be the guy who’d open my eyes.
And guess what, a month has passed and I haven’t missed Reddit once. I now read proper news which gives me much more info in a much, much smaller amount of time (10 minutes a day is enough to find out everything I need). I read more Linux blogs now which completely replaced my need for any Linux-related sub. And, most importantly, I get much more sleep and finally have time for things that are actually useful for my life.
Now, I’m not condemning Reddit completely, some of its small dedicated subs are priceless—but I will no longer be a part of them. Quite frankly, I have more important things to do.
Edit: Hm, to be honest, I find this post a bit harsh in retrospect. It wasn’t all that bad. We had good times. But it’s time to move on.