Why I Waste My Precious Time on 9GAG and Imgur

As the tagline of the popular image board site reads, we all should go fun the world. But, to me, it’s so much more than that. We barely notice it when we scroll down from post to post, but beyond the fun nature of 9GAG and Imgur lies a shared connection between their millions of casual visitors and frequent posters. Let me explain what I’m talking about before you dismiss me as a meme addict.

We Share Humor, the Universal Language

What, you thought English is the universal language? Not so fast, hombre. First of all, English is confusing. Most of the time, your message ends up getting drowned in the semantics and you get mixed reactions. Post a GIF of a guy getting hit in the balls and I can guarantee you that everyone, regardless of nationality or age, will laugh and cringe at the same time. Imgur and 9GAG’s main language is humor above all else. Humor is the one thing anyone can understand, even if they can’t understand the context. No one can say no to dank memes.

Unsplash - Braydon Anderson
Photo by Braydon Anderson from Unsplash

And that’s why I love hanging out in these sites. Sure, I have other mature and sophisticated websites on my bookmarks, but if I’m in the mood for a quick laugh, I head down to 9GAG and see the latest memes or go to Imgur and scroll through hundreds of dumps. At the end of a long day, don’t we all just want to lie down and have a laugh with our buddies or exchange memes with our loved ones? I know I do. I send Princess the funniest memes I could find. I think the last one I sent her was the post of a baby dressed as characters from Stranger Things. The Upside Down folks have never looked that adorable.

We Share Our Vast Knowledge, From Useful to Nonsense

It’s not really that obvious, but 9GAG and Imgur are also places of knowledge. Every now and then, you’ll see trivia posts ranging from fascinating to weird. Even superheroes have their own section, which is annoying if you ask me. I mean, why would I want to know how rich Batman is or how Spiderman can bend over backward? The point is that being stupid won’t guarantee you a higher chance of survival in this cruel world. You need to feed yourself with information, may it be the latest political news, scientific breakthrough, historical fact, and even superhero trivia. You’ll never know when the next quiz of life will smack you in the head and demand answers.

Unsplash - Maliha Mannan
Photo by Maliha Mannan from Unsplash

Thanks to some trivia nuggets I found on Imgur, I learned new things such as tricks on how to stop myself from vomiting, the pressure points to help relieve various muscle pains, and the fact that in an alternate universe, Bruce Wayne was the one who took the bullet so his mom became the Joker out of grief and his dad became the Batman to stop her. Scroll through some comments and you’ll even find international visitors who learned a few English words by visiting 9GAG and Imgur regularly. If we can subconsciously learn English (and random trivia shit) from memes, we can learn absolutely anything.

We Inspire Others to be More Creative and Passionate

Whether it’s cosplay or building crappy robots, 9GAG and Imgur users are always proud to show off the things they’re passionate about. That’s why these sites are also home to talented artists who produce funny and creative content. People who want to share their expertise use these platforms because they know they’ll reach a wider audience. And, sure, OPs get either praises for their originality or insults for being fake, but the takeaway is that we should try to discover our creative side.

Unsplash - Alice Achterhof
Photo by Alice Achterhof from Unsplash

Aside from passion projects, 9GAG and Imgur are also places where anyone can share their ideas, brilliant or otherwise. Sandwiched between various Spongebob memes and rage comics are posts from up-and-coming creatives — singers, bands, artists, inventors, sculptors, builders, and many more — just waiting to be discovered. These sites encourage you to open your mind to new perspectives and explore other ideas. Now I’m not saying all visitors and OPs of 9GAG and Imgur are intellectuals, but they could be, if you abandon your own views for a minute.

We Are a Community, Whether We Like It or Not

If you install 9GAG or Imgur on your phone and visit them every day, you’re part of the community. In this community, everyone has a voice — especially in the comments section. You’ll see ideas get dissected by commenters with strong beliefs. You’ll see facts get validated or debunked. You’ll try to start a song and someone will always break it with “mom’s spaghetti.” This makes the community great, although a tad destructive. But, hey, what’s a community without a little chaos, amirite?

Unsplash - Julian Gentilezza
Photo by Julian Gentilezza from Unsplash

The sense of community and belonging these sites foster is probably the main reason why most of us frequent them. Feeling tired after a long day at work? Feeling down after an embarrassing presentation at school? Feeling empty now that you’re single again? Come hang with us, we have memes. As much as you’d like to think you’re a special snowflake, other users will be happy to let you know that you’re not the only one. We’re all just trying to figure out how life works, you know? And, once in a while, we congregate to laugh, share, and tolerate one another — even for just a few minutes before we go back to reality.

I know there are other image-sharing sites out there, and I hope I’m not alienating them. By all means, visit the websites you like. For me, my time-wasters don’t necessarily waste my time. So, when you’re feeling down, sick, alone, or depressed, take a minute out of your life to just pause and laugh at stupid images that barely make sense. We’re all going to die anyway, might as well have fun on our way down.

What’s your favorite time-wasting app or website? Do you want me to write about Reddit in the near future? Waste your time by leaving your comments below. 

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