I haven’t been to Reddit in quite some time. A couple weeks now. Occasionally I catch a glimpse of it through a link or from a friend but that’s the extent of my investment in it now. There are some interesting side effects to this. The first is that I’m not dealing with the vicious cycle of looking for new content and never being satisfied. I look at Reddit as if it were an informational drug. When you first start experiencing it the feeling is great. You’ve never had it before and it doesn’t take much to get a great high.
I’m about to do things to you that nobody can ever know.
But over time you build up a resistance to it. For conventional drugs this is because your body literally builds antibodies against the chemicals that make up the drug. At least that’s my understanding of resistance, I might be oversimplifying (or wrong). Because of this you need more of the drug to get the same high. Your body builds up those antibodies even before you start doing the drugs.
In the case of Reddit there is a cycle to content. You see your 10 guy, rage comics, and advice duck for the first time when you visit but they’ve all been around for quite some time. For new people this means a lot of good highs and the beginning of a dependency. For people who have been around it is frustrating because that information injection is not there. Your body has built up resistance to these jokes and they don’t have the same impact that they once did. Think of comedians telling the same joke. It just doesn’t have that bang you need.
Since I’ve left Reddit the urge to go back was initially quite strong. Once I gave it a little time I noticed that it didn’t really enrich my life in any way. I had thought it did at the time, genuinely so. There are likely many ways that it can enrich someone’s life. I’m sure there are some folks out there who really enjoy their drugs and there is no negative impact to their life because of it. That’s the humor of addiction, it is only an addiction if it has a negative impact on your life.
The next amusing impact of leaving Reddit is that folks still talk to me like I’m visiting it regularly. “I know you probably saw this on Reddit but…” The beauty is that I haven’t been on Reddit and I didn’t see it. I get to lay back like Caligula having the tastiest morsels of Reddit fed to me at random intervals.
Life without Reddit is strange. It has got me exploring places more on my own which certainly makes the internet more interesting. Not that I’m saying you should quit Reddit. But it is something fun to think about.