It was probably my second year in college that I got introduced to Reddit. Some guys I knew were on it a lot, and we spent a lot of time lounging around frat-house rooms waiting until it was an acceptable hour to drink, so eventually, I picked up their habits and decided to check it out. And then I never looked back. It was everything: funny, informative, current—you could jump from memes to breaking news to obscure hobbies and generally enjoy a vibe of liberal, atheist, white male pedantry while you were at it. It was home.
I honestly don’t know how many hours of my life I spent on Reddit. I honestly don’t want to know. Sure, I learned a thing or two, but I mostly bookmarked informative pages for later adoption and enjoyed the self-satisfied feeling that I learned something. Then, inevitably, it would be back to /r/funny, /r/pics, /r/askreddit in a never ending loop of looking for new links to click. Sometimes I’d get bored and absentmindedly Ctrl-T another tab open, type in reddit.com and hit the front page before realizing it was where I had just left. That is incredibly lame.
I haven’t been on Reddit in a couple weeks. Occasionally I’ll catch myself slipping—I’ll absentmindedly type in the address, hit Enter, and then realize what I’m doing and Ctrl-W the tab closed before it loads. I like the streak I’m on—I spend way less time looking at pointless bullshit on the internet. No offense to your hilarious cat pictures or DIY projects, of course. Sure, there are useful things on Reddit—it’s a wealth of information—but I found myself too easily sidetracked by novelty accounts, negative comments and a generally meh vibe. It’s the “screen sucking”—wasting hours on pointless bullshit to avoid other things that might be difficult or less than fun. Or, in my case, challenging and filled with the potential to fail. Writing.
As I’ve been posting on this blog every day, keeping my fashion blog queue full and writing offline in a variety of formats, I’ve kept my streak of wasting less time on the Internet alive. Sure, I’m on it quite a bit: there’s music to learn about, news to read, pictures of clothes to ogle and emails to send. But it’s with a point. It’s getting me somewhere smarter and better, for the most part. Sure, I’ll still indulge with the occasional funny video, but it’s not wasting time for the sake of wasting it. Which is nice.
I’d like to ratchet back my time even further. Less looking at YouTube. More Lynda tutorials to build my skillset. Get in, blog, get out. Write offline. That kind of stuff. I’m not going full Drake—Fuck going online/ That ain’t part of my day—but I certainly appreciate the sentiment. And with that, I’ll log off for tonight: I’ve got friends to meet IRL and adventures to have outside my house. Sure, tomorrow I’ll be parsing the memories and conversations for content that’ll eventually end up on here, but at least it won’t involve funny cats…