Some of you might be on Reddit, and might even love it, so I hope not to offend you, but I’m leaving.
I have shared my last link to the social news network as of this morning, and I will let my accounts there go into archive mode.
I’m not exactly as tech geeky as I used to be, but I enjoy being on the cusp of something new. I like feeling relevant to culture, the upcoming generations, and being able to transition in times of change.
Needless to say, I’m not at Myspace or Friendster. When Twitter started to gain momentum, I signed up. I was one of the first over at Digg and was even sent a DIGG t-shirt. I reluctantly am on other social media platforms: Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr and Instagram. I’ve deleted Snapchat and Periscope several times.
I like social media. I like to develop my own brand of information. I like to share what is going on in the world to people who follow me, knowing that I’ll share something interesting. I like sharing the weird and the WTF. I like to share trivia and useful knowledge.
I also like to share my creations: my books or articles, my work as a model and actor, my dabbling in flipping collectibles and antiques, my hiking photos with the wife.
I liked Reddit a lot at first. The subreddits are awesome locations to throw links to fun articles, local news bits, new film updates, activists’ petitions, and celebrity selfies. There is a plethora of good stuff on Reddit being shared by many of its users.
There is also a lot of junk. Opinion articles seem to dominate, like political satire or election trolling. Reddit prides itself on being a place for free speech, but this alleged claim is the very reason I’m leaving Reddit.
There isn’t free speech there anymore. It’s actually much like a classroom when the teacher leaves. A few people step up as its supposed leaders—or bullies—and the class gets loud and chaotic, and no one is learning anything except to have a better quirky insult.
Sadly, most of the good subreddit names are taken, claimed since week one by adventurers staking out their own plot of land in the wild west. Most of the newer one are Name ABC with a plus added.
Reddit didn’t fail in the beginning, so these spots of prime real estate had their leaders—the moderators—and anyone who shared or commented on anything posted to these subreddits were at the mercy of the subreddit moderators. This is against Reddit‘s code of conduct for moderators, but they don’t care. Maybe even the admins don’t care?
Many sincere, intellectual users know these people exist, so they started their own subreddits. But unless they advertise, you don’t really know these more friendly, knowledgeable places exist. You have to poke around, get lucky in the search box, and have them show up in a sidebar.
Essentially, you’re at the whims of the people on Reddit, which seem to be largely a group of elitist types who up-vote their own posts and comments, up-vote snide and witty comments, and then down-vote or flag as spam anything that they might disagree with.
I’m on at least my third Reddit account (if not the forth), as the other accounts have been flagged for various reasons. And I’m not even a spammer or rude commenter.
While I may self-promote by posting an original marriage article in the subreddit, MARRIAGE, I don’t troll or post 200 links to the same $395 sunglasses site. Except for posting a link to something interesting or useful, I’m usually pretty quiet.
Maybe that is what gets me in trouble? On one subreddit it did. I posted an article about health care concerns for 2017, I got banned. When I asked why they said all I do is post health care articles to the subreddit, HEALTHCARE, but never talk about the post.
Well, damn, banned for not commenting?
The other subreddits have their own added rules, as well. Some rules are posted on the side bar (or show up when you’re about to share a link to the subreddit), and some aren’t. Most of the time, you don’t even realize you’re breaking some elitist’s rule until they ban you from that subreddit.
So, after five or six years (and three or four accounts), I’m done.
I’m usually pretty patient, but after being blacklisted by idiots and trolls who have been left in charge as moderators (everyone else with maturity seems to have left already), I’m done with Reddit. I’m a busy person, and a peaceful person. I’m not going to troll back to those who like to snarl.
The rowdy kids can have their classroom. I want to learn and help others learn … or at least read something interesting, funny, or useful.
But in the teacher-less, anarchist classroom of Reddit, it can all self-implode. It’s a wasteland, like 4chan, and similar to armed rival gang members in a closed elevator.
Sadly, the owners and admins of Reddit have to stick around to make sure fires are put out on a plane that is heading downward. With other emerging social media platforms—like Medium.com—I’m using my private parachute and jumping off the Reddit nose dive. And already, I’m in the top 10% of Medium‘s bloggers.
Good luck to those I’m leaving behind. I hope many of the good, kind, intellectual souls there find a new medium to sharing information and discussing relevant issues.