By Alex Rosenthal
I’ll be the first to admit: I’m addicted to wasting time on the Internet. If I’m sitting in front of my laptop at any given time, odds are I’m reading some funny article I found online or watching some ridiculous YouTube video rather than doing any actual schoolwork (give me a break, I’m a second semester senior). While many online addicts often get links from their friends and family via email, Facebook, and Twitter, I prefer to simply check the social news site Reddit.
Boasting the tagline of “news before it happens,” Reddit presents its users with a dynamic, easy-to-read list of links to what’s going on in the online universe, whether it’s the next hit video or a really dumb Sarah Palin tweet. The name of the site likely mimics its users’ responses to people who try to send them links to anything. Personally, I like to hold my chin up high and condescendingly tell them, “Oh, I’ve already read it,” in a British accent.
The links that make the front page are determined by the site’s users (affectionately known as “Redditors” for the slightly nerdy), who can either “upvote” a link they like to have it brought higher up on the list, or “downvote” a link to do the opposite. This way, the links you see on the first few pages are voted by the Reddit community to be the best and most relevant. The most common types of links you’ll see are news articles, images, and discussion topics created by users, which recently have ranged from debates about the controversial new TSA body scanners to talks about the iPhone’s new agreement with Verizon.
You probably get plenty of cool stuff from your Facebook and Twitter feeds, but if you ever want to be the first of your friends to discover something new and interesting, Reddit is definitely the place to go.