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There are certain places on the internet I have never had an interest in visiting, as I understand them to be packed to the brim with soul-shaking perversion. Two of those sites are 4chan and Reddit. Whenever I heard about either of those sites it was because of something completely unallowable like Doppelbanghers .
Recently, though, I was introduced to a subreddit called /r/BritishProblems , which concerns itself with the difficulties of being socially awkward at all times, in all situations, including when alone. And messing up tea in one form or another.
From there, I tentatively inched out into other parts of Reddit and discovered it was a just like every other sphere of reality; the most obnoxious and obnoxiously loud receive the most attention, but, by and large, it was harmless and some things were quite worthwhile.
For example, there is an entire hub of Safe For Work (SFW) porn subreddits, consisting of gorgeous photos of gorgeous things. (Or, occasionally, crudy photos of gorgeous things.) This is the page where you can browse the newest posts to all of the SFW porn subreddits, but if you go to any particular site in that multireddit, this appears at the top of the screen:
Each main section has a drop down list when you hover over them.
My husband’s favourite subreddits are:
dubstep : He’s discovered a lot of new dubstep, and learned quite a bit about the genre and subgenres, here.
birdswitharms : Birds photoshopped with arms on. I’m surprised at how freaking hilarious it is.
explainlikeImfive : Where you can ask to have things explained as though you were very young, without being judged.
fiftyfiftysfw : You’re given two descriptions. The picture or video in the post could be either one. Do you gamble and click?
futureporn : SFW porn of what people in the past thought the future would look like, and what we think the future will look like.
speculativeevolution : Animals that do not exist (but could have done).
theendofyoutube : We’ve all done it. Clicked on one YouTube video, to another, to another x 85 and then… you’re at the end of YouTube. And it’s a weird place. This subreddit is full of videos that save you the bother of clicking the 85 links between sanity and ‘WTF is happening in front of my eyes?’ These are labelled if they’re NSFW, most are SFW.
cringe : Full of the sort of videos that make you think, ‘Did you not watch this before you posted it? You do know the entire world can see this, right?’
timeonhand : Things done by people who have far too much time on their hands. Usually impressive, sometimes just sad.
The most recent subreddits are at newreddits
After this adventure I realised the Internet in general, and Reddit specifically, is Manhattan. Once I was in New York, just wandering around–going no place in particular (but going really quickly and with purpose so people thought I was local)–and suddenly I realised I was in a sketchy area. I did NOT feel safe. Rather than freaking out and declaring all of New York terrifying and awful, I simply turned around–after pretending I’d forgotten an appointment in the other direction–and returned to the last place I felt comfortable, which was about one street up.
That’s Reddit, folks. You’re minding your own business, looking at interesting things, learning about the world around you, reveling in the incredible diversity of humanity on the planet, and you turn a corner and you’re … there. The place everyone eventually finds themselves. Just turn around and return to the last place you felt comfortable.
Reddit is good about tagging things NSFW if something is Not Safe For Work, so, if you see that acronym just turn around (unless you’re into that sort of thing).
Reddit also practises something called Hellbanning , which is a brilliant way of dealing with trolls. It lets them think they’re participating in the forum, but no one can see them. It’s taking the concept of not feeding the trolls to the next level. Brilliant.
Reddit Enhancement Suite (Chrome/Firefox/Safari/Opera) is incredibly useful, if only for its night-time mode, which replaces that whiteWHITE glare of the screen to a darker screen.
The subreddits above are a small number in comparison to the 24,000+ named subreddits [though over 1,ooo of those have no posts and a few thousand only have one post.] So if you enjoy any in particular, please share in the comments.
And I’m still not going to 4chan.