This button on Reddit is driving everyone nuts

  • Vignesh Radhakrishnan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 12, 2015 01:49 IST

To press it, or not to press it – this is the Shakespearean dilemma the internet is going through right now.

It all started when Reddit pushed out this "button and timer" combo on April 1.

It was Reddit's April Fools' day answer to Google's Pac-Man map and Imgur's GIF experiment. But unlike others, the Reddit button is still active and at the time this article was written it had already crossed 696,371 pressers. Here’s why the internet is going crazy about this game.

What is r/thebutton?

The r/thebuttonis a subreddit where a 60 second countdown timer gets reset every time a Reddit user clicks a button placed adjacent to it.

Once a user clicks the button the counter gets reset and starts running backwards towards zero.

What's in it for me?

The participants are being colour-graded depending upon the time they press the button. For example, if you press the button with 52 seconds left on the timer, you are graded purple; between 42 and 51 seconds gets you blue; between 32 to 41 gets you green; and from 22 to 31 seconds gets you yellow. If you do not press it at all, you get a grey "non-presser" tag.

Here is the catch -- you can press the button only once and then there is no going back.

So what’s the dope?

Reddit users are hooked to the button page due to three reasons:

1. The colour says it all

Other Redditors are going to judge you based on the colour tag you have against your name. If you are a 'purpler' you belong to the 'most impatient' lot and so you will be looked down upon. While a blue or a green is slightly better, you’re king of the game if you have a yellow tag.

And if you have a purple tag this is how Reddit is looking at you right now.

2. Curiosity kills the cat

The longest anyone has waited is 29 seconds (Reddit user name : m29 - coincidence?!). Only a handful have waited so long and could not resist the urge to press the button. So no one actually knows what happens if one waits for 20 or 10 seconds or for that matter till the counter hits zero.

Rumour has it that there are two more colour grades - orange (21 seconds) and red (11 seconds). But as no one has had the patience to wait for such a long period of time there is no way to stop the rumour mill.

And the ones who have made their choice are logging on simply to check whether someone got lucky to get to the 21 second or 11 second on the timer.

3. Yellow is the one

Non-pressers waste more time than the ones who have pressed it already. They are hooked on to their monitors waiting for the counter to go beyond 21 seconds to get the orange or red tags.

But "make hay while the 'yellow' shines" seems to be the fad as most of the users are satisfied with the yellow tag which itself is a rare commodity.

So why can't people wait?

Good question. In an ideal world, Redditors would have decided and waited until the timer got to zero just to see what happens. When Reddit user "oarsman458" started a thread "Everybody just wait a minute" he was ridiculed for saying that as he himself had pressed it when it was 52 seconds!

No one is willing to wait lest someone else gets a better colour.

I'm new to Reddit, can I play?

That's the catch. Only people who have had Reddit accounts before April 1 can play the game.

And finally some GIFs

Here is how the Reddit community is enjoying r/thebutton subreddit. The purple taggers are ridiculed, yellow taggers rejoice and non-pressers are still hemming and hawing.

Here are some GIFs/pics posted by the some participants in the r/thebutton subreddit.

Reddit user "MickeyDust" (60 seconds - purple ) posted "The truth of The Shade"

Reddit user "xdck" (31 seconds - yellow) posted "How am I'm feeling right now"

Reddit user "FaggotMcSandNigger" (A non presser) posted "How you yellows will feel later"

Another non presser "elevenincrocs" posted "Which of my grey brethren is this?"

A non presser "Beeeefy" posted a summary sketch of what is happening

Another user with yellow tag posted this "how i feel right now"

Will the party go on?

When this article was written, people began waiting for the timer to go beyond 30 second. So we may just see an orange or a red in two to three days' time.

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