There has been a renaissance recently and not of the European arts kind. The landscape of media has changed, and we have gone back to basics in our modes of information digestion. Old has become new again, with podcasts and discussion boards such as Reddit coming back with a bang. How were these excellent sources of entertainment ever not in vogue?
Discussion boards is an interesting one. Before the dawn of Facebook and other prominent social media models, people flocked to discussion boards and forums in their droves. Rashes were diagnosed by a gaggle of concerned mothers and advice was given to jilted lovers. Even recipes were shared with the same rigour as Martha Stewarts insider trading activities. With the addition of a collection of very immediately responsive social platforms, the idea of discussion forums became twee and eventually redundant.
Why log onto a cyber community of faceless strangers when Facebook offered instant salacious gratification in the form of web wars. There was something quite delicious (in fact still delicious) about watching people battle it out in the comments section under a click-bait article; Facebook you know how to reel an audience in, that’s for sure.
So why the love affair with discussion boards again?
While people still like to converse on social media platforms, the loss of anonymity is being felt. Many stories of “cyberbullying”, racist and derogatory comments have made the news. These incidences have often been at the hands of an innocent party. Indeed, many are guilty of putting themselves out just a little too much, but other seemingly harmless opinions and comments are being taken out of context. Political correctness has just gone plain mad! This madness has turned people away from the bright lights of Facebook and back underground to faceless forums. These discussion boards it seems are the only places to enjoy some freedom of speech.
Where are these peeps at?
Are you wondering where to go to find some likeminded gossip lovers and current affair enthusiasts? Reddit is where it’s at!
What is Reddit?
Reddit is a platform that facilitates community engagement, sharing of links and healthy (sometimes not) debate. Only Reddit account holders can utilise the forum and can submit links, images and text posts. Other members can then vote up or down on the content (subreddits), essentially determining the ranking of the content. Aside from voting, members can comment on each piece of material and engage with other Reddit users through comments. FYI – Members of Reddit are known as Redditors – Where do you sign up, right?!
The interesting thing about Reddit is that it has been around since 2005 but has only recently had something of a massive revival. The era of discussions boards was made redundant by social media, but ironically it is social media that has led to the surge their popularity again. As mentioned, it appears to be the rare anonymity that community forums give, that unfortunately, social platforms don’t. With many people falling spectacularly from grace by posting something controversial on Facebook, there is a fear of sorts when it comes to engaging on public pages. Reddit, on the other hand, offers a kind of secret haven to let loose in.
Back to Basics
I mentioned podcasts earlier and the increasing interest in this medium of entertainment. Again, it is quite interesting that people are turning back to audio as a form of relaxation, inspiration and education. Has social media and the internet, in general, made us grow weary? It looks like this could be the case. We are demonstrating a longing to go back to simpler times, and it is undoubtedly a symptom of social overloading online. I am loving podcasts lately and I am in agreeance that we need to take a little step back.Facebook, Instagram and all those other hubs where appearances are judged first are platforms that we could do with less of. Try some social cleansing for a while and try out podcasting for your soul. Cant ditch the gossip? Set yourself up a Reddit account!
Next time – Podcasts!