Tag Archives: Reddit

Shadow Person Memorate

Context: 

There is a message board, or “thread,” on the website Reddit, one of which is titled r/AskReddit, in which people post open ended questions for anyone in the Reddit community to answer. I, the interviewer, posted this question: What was a real life experience you had with a creature from a legend (ghosts, aliens, La Llorona, Big Foot, etc.)? The reddit user “Thatoneguy111700” replied in the comments, “Saw a Shadow Person in my living room. My dogs saw it too.” I then messaged Thatoneguy111700, explained that I was looking to collect his account, and asked him for the complete story. He agreed to tell me, and his full message is transcribed below.

Piece:

It was October 26th, 2016, around 8 to 8:20 PM. I was walking into my living room when I saw my three dogs barking at the back door to be let in (the back door was all glass with two big glass panes on either side of it). The only lights on were the ones inside so I could see a perfect reflection of the room around me in the glass. I was going to go let them in when they suddenly just stopped barking and looking to my left. I was weirded out so I looked in the reflection too. There, standing in the corner of the room, was this big-ass, really black shadow. I was maybe 5’7″ at the time and this thing towered over me, even with its shoulders hunched over. The four of us just stared at this thing until it seemingly noticed me looking at it and went into the hallway. I stood in place for a good 5 minutes, like I was frozen. I tried recreating it on several occasions, to see if I’d made the shadow, but my shadow either didn’t reach that part of the wall or wasn’t dark enough or simply wasn’t big enough.

Analysis: 

This memorate shows similarities to a ghost sighting, but the use of the title of a shadow person removes the religious and spiritual connotations of a ghost.

Screen capture of question posted on r/AskReddit with Thatoneguy111700’s reply
Conversation over Reddit with Thatoneguy111700

Law School SubReddit Terminology

Context:

Isabella Estrada is studying history at the University of Southern California. She is graduating this year and is in the process of applying to/hearing back from law schools. This was clearly on her mind as the first piece of folklore she gave me dealt with law school applications. She was born and raised in Torrance, California.

Transcript:

Isabella: So, there is a subreddit on the website Reddit that’s called law school admissions, and it’s just essentially a forum where people who are applying to law schools get together and complain and discuss admissions and scholarships and the like, and so, with like any other subreddit, there’s like a specific language that we use, and to indicate, or like another form of congratulations that people use when someone says they got into a law school is “go get some ice cream.” So it like, it serves in place of congratulations. And it’s just like a congratulatory phrase.

There’s also, instead of, if you get rejected, instead of saying you got rejected, you say you got “dinged.”

Interpretation:

Reddit is infamous for its specialized language. Even “subreddit” requires an understanding of the website–meaning a category within the website. Internet culture has created its own language in many cases, and these two examples show how visitors to the page use these euphemisms to deal with serious decisions that impact their future. The point of the subreddit is to find support amongst others who are going through the nerve wracking application process, so these silly phrases could help to temporarily lessen the hurt of getting rejected, and likewise celebrate those who are admitted, but not overly so as to hurt the feelings of those being rejected.

F

“F.”


That right there is literally the entire performance of this recent piece of cyberlore. This weird custom arose from the video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, in which the player (if playing on a computer) has the option to go up to a fallen soldier and “press F to pay respects.” The game was released in late 2014, and for some reason, towards the beginning of 2015 users on sites like Reddit started commenting with “press F to pay respects” whenever death or dying was mentioned on the site. This soon evolved into users simply shortening it to “F,” and now most Reddit users will know what someone means if he/she comments with that single letter. I frequent Reddit, so I kind of picked up on this a while ago, but I love how simple yet inexplicably hilarious it is.

THE BUTTON

ABOUT THE INFORMANT:

My informant is a senior graduating this semester from USC. He is a biomedical engineer, and is the oldest son of two immigrants from China.

EXAMPLE:

https://www.reddit.com/r/thebutton/

CONTEXT/BACKGROUND:

“I found this thing, well actually, my buddy sent it over to me because he is the one who always spends his time on the internet, Reddit in general, and he showed it to me. It’s basically this button, I guess it’s been up since April 1st. Apparently it was supposed to be like an April’s Fools joke, you know? So that’s how it all begun.

The whole concept is that there is like this timer. And it is counting down from 60 seconds. And every time someone clicks it, then the clock resets back to 60. And so far, I guess like over 800,000 people have clicked it. And you can only click it once. And in order to be eligible to click it you must have a Reddit account from before April 1st, 2015. There is like a whole wiki that the people of Reddit created on it.

But essentially, it’s like never dropped to 00. Like the clock has never run out. Someone has always clicked it before the clock runs out, you know. So, like, some people just watch it. And some sites track it, I guess.

But then like, Reddit started giving you a badge with a specific color for when you pressed it on the timer. So like Anywhere between 60 and 50 you get a purple badge, and then it keeps working its way down the wire until you get Red, which is between 10-00.

But now what’s happened is that like a hierarchy, a class system has like been established. Because the color is shown on your profile. So they will have like the red, green, purple, whatever, and then if you haven’t clicked it, it’s gray. So now like Red is like the best, with Purple seen as the worst. And then gray is like the pacifists or whatever. Like they aren’t taking part. And their are subreddits about the colors.

So now everyone has like their own community. And then there’s been like fan fiction, comics, memes, all about these freakin’ colors and the button.

It’s absurd.

And then since it’s also never run out, everyone is kind of panicking too about what will happen when it does.”

ANALYSIS:

What’s so funny about this is that there is this community that has sprung up from just a button. It is now for some people a form of identity. I do not think I could have ever predicted that if something like this happened people would care about it this much. Of course, this obsession of the button is quite contained, but people take it seriously.

I think it is interesting that people have started creating forms of media all about the button, linking the community together through inside jokes and vernacular that only they know. It has become this cause, to keep the button alive, and then in that it has turned into a system that mirrors our own in terms of society and classism. On one hand, I would like to think that for some people it is pure satire, but I think for others they actually are buying into it. There is like a real pride from being in the red group. And there are inside jokes just based on what color you are. It really is a weird mirror of society in its own way.