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This article was published on December 1, 2021

Reddit’s new real-time features make me yearn for slower days

My aging brain can't take the stress

Reddit’s new real-time features make me yearn for slower days
Thomas Macaulay
Story by

Thomas Macaulay

Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC. Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC.

Reddit is about to get more rapid — just as I was yearning for social media to slow down.

The company has launched a range of real-time animations and notification features that sound unsettlingly energetic.

Votes and comments will no longer be a static number on posts and feeds. Instead, users will see dynamic animations as the numbers change.

Votes will animate in real-time as the counts go up or down. Credit: Reddit

The flickering arrows are already making my retinas burn. Mercifully, Reddit’s made the animations optional.

The platform’s also getting new indicators that show when multiple redditors are typing comments or reading posts. The mere descriptions of these features have given me the jitters, although I’m relieved that Reddit will anonymize the identified users.

Reddit features
The indicators note when five or more redditors and when two or more are typing.

Finally, the platform will start showing users when new comments are being posted while they’re scrolling through a post. When redditors click on the pill-shaped indicator, they can sort responses by recency and highlight live comments in real-time.

This sounds like yet another strain upon my aging brain.

I can no longer keep up. Credit: Reddit

If these gripes make you suspect that I’m a grumpy Luddite, you would be correct. The new features make me nostalgic for the days of static content and more tranquil interactions.

Reddit’s options and anonymization have allayed some of my anxieties, but I’m already pining for the more sedate platform of the past.

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