Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Dr Weblove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and just love Reddit... by uber blogger Rudhraigh McGrath...

The process of pursuing happiness almost always makes you sad, the process of avoiding sadness doesn't always make you happy. You still want to be happy, but the confusing lack of efficacy of the available options has made you increasingly neurotic about your prospects.

All too soon life becomes a montage of moments of infinite stress over finite problems, you become dried up and twisted, full of bile and regret. In the days of yore, you'd have to take up crocheting, pipe smoking or looking wistfully out frosted windows onto misty moors just to be able to get out of bed in the morning.

Thankfully, mankind's peerless intellect has produced a new way of engaging with happiness. These days there's this thing new thing called the "Internet" that was invented to allow you to achieve the same goal but you don't even have to get out of bed for it. 

On the internet, things make sense. You have options. 

This is because on the internet there are things that actually make you reliably happy for short periods of time. You have small moments of human honesty such as a watching a stoned child babble existential truisms while whacked out of his head on post-dental feel-good drugs. For a minute or two, you can feel truly alive reading an article about an 80 year old semi-comatose Alzheimer's patient who immediately does the Lindy Hop whenever she hears this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFd5Cci_pE4, and if you don't at least smile when you watch a video of Barack Obama singing the lyrics to Call me Maybe - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX1YVzdnpEc, you should seek professional help.

Yes, on a very visceral level the internet is made of smiles (Or cats, depending on who you ask - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi8VTeDHjcM)

The only problem is the more you smile, the more you find you NEED to smile. The more links you click, the more you find you NEED to click, and once you realize that you only feel happy when you're experiencing new and original digital content that the pursuit of happiness has an entirely new requirement.

I call them "Inficlicks". 

An Inficlick is a website that empowers the new denizens of The Age of Cyberhappy by making the continuous pursuit of digital happiness as efficient as humanly possible. An Inficlick provides a uniform platform for individual contributors to add to the common good by posting links of interest. This results in page after page of new content streaming in from all over the world at a rate that actually exceeds your ability to browse it. Other, less conceptually evolved people call them Content Aggregators, but I think "Inficlicks" is catchier. 

The most efficient Inficlick is of course Reddit. (Reddit.com)

I remember the dark days before I knew about Reddit.  Having to trawl around in agony, going to three or even FOUR sites to find an amusing video entitled "Puppy Assault Course Fail". Not knowing anything about upvotes, not caring about Karma, not understanding the importance of a snappy TLDR. When you hear about the "they" in the internet, they are talking about Reddit.

With infinite forums to post about your specific area of interest, Reddit's tagline is "The Front page of the Internet", so if until now you've been trawling around looking at other sites thinking that they're full of interesting and original content, a few weeks spent on Reddit will make you realize that Reddit is like the Rome of the internet, as eventually all links lead to Reddit.

If you want something, it's on Reddit. Want to ask real-time questions of an ex-Nazi Crossdresser? Go to Reddit. Want to swap stone-aged Faux-Vegan lentil pudding recipes? Go to Reddit. Want to argue over the existence of God in the Star Wars universe? Reddit's the place to be. 

I encourage you to spend an hour on Reddit, getting to know the ins and outs of the site, understanding the simple genius of the upvoting system.

I warn you however, if you have children or any kind of actual real life responsibility, give it a miss. You may never again be happy, but at least you won't go to jail for child neglect.

Meanwhile, I'm just going to check and see what's going on in r/videos/ (http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/)  

See you in seven hours.

Rudhraigh McGrath


  1. What an insightful post on the eternal idea for "pursuing of happiness"! As you definitely brought me that momentof happiness, by sharing that video of Obama and introducing me to the new term, I have not heard before "Cyberhappy" that I am extremely interested in your suggestions, overall! I can not really imagine what I would do without Internet nowadays, as all my life seems to be concentrated on it, my work is related to it, my personal life too, as I am striving with a long distance relationship, possible solely via Internet for the moment and etc..and just thinking about all that, I am already finding a reason to be happy, always:)
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