By Ben Everett | Sports Editor
Social media has become so ingrained in our culture that people spend hours a day on their phones scrolling though popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These companies have become titans in the modern world, controlling advertising and information like never before.
While almost everyone uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, one popular platform is sometimes overlooked when discussing the biggest names in social media: Reddit.
According to Statista, Reddit ranked seventh in the United States in 2018 in number of monthly active users among social media mobile applications. Facebook led the way with 168 million users while Reddit sat at 33 million.
While it is widely respected and used by a large audience, Reddit deserves to be mentioned among Facebook and Instagram because it is expertly designed to suit the interests of every user and provides a great place for respectful discussion and discovery.
What makes Reddit such an appealing social media platform is subreddits. Subreddits are what make up the website. For example, since I like basketball, I subscribe to subreddits such as r/nba, r/CollegeBasketball and r/NBA_Draft.
Moderators operate these subreddits in order to keep the peace, but in general people are free to post whatever they want regarding that subject, and others can passively enjoy the content or participate in the conversation.
As a fan of a lot of different subjects, Reddit is the perfect social media platform for me. I can follow subreddits about sports, TV shows, movies and video games, while tailoring my feed to topics that I enjoy. When I open the app on my phone or pull up the website in my browser, I instantly have information that matters to me.
The variety of subreddits is what makes Reddit special. R/ShowerThoughts provides fun and interesting tidbits about life that are often funny and relatable. R/DataIsBeautiful is full of visually striking graphs and charts that depict statistics about different topics. R/AskReddit proposes questions about life where users can offer perspectives and thoughts on the matter. Reddit often hosts AMAs (Ask Me Anything) in which famous people answer questions for users.
Unlike other social media outlets, your profile does not include a profile picture. This creates an anonymous environment that is ideal for discussion purposes.
When there’s no picture, users can’t judge each other based on appearance or unnecessarily attack someone’s looks like they do on Twitter. Constructive conversations occur where people respect one another. As someone who doesn’t post very much on Reddit, I enjoy reading through conversations on subreddits in order to get a laugh or learn something new.
In the politically charged world we live in, websites like Facebook and Twitter can be divisive. I seldom come across political animosity or offensive language on Reddit.
Reddit is easily my favorite social media platform. I can scroll through my feed and find new information, hilarious memes and fun conversations on a daily basis. While it doesn’t have the high-caliber brand name that other popular social media websites do, it deserves the same recognition.