Avid Redditors know that if it exists, there’s a subreddit about it. That includes everything from niche Game of Thrones inside jokes to powerwashing “porn” to GIFs of children falling over. Oddly enough, it also includes an entire subreddit simply devoted to counting.
On r/Counting, lovers of numbers can gather to do what they do best. Users create threads titled with a predetermined counting goal, like 285,000 or 241,000. They also count (and list) their Jay Z-inspired 99 problems, the number of cats in photos and numbers written using the ancient Greek numeric system.
London-based Reddit user u/o99o99 — who shared only his first name, Owain — has been an active member in the community since its beginning two years ago. He tells Mashable that much of the subreddit’s enjoyment comes from the feeling of working toward something. Lucky counters who nab coveted numbers like 35,000, 60,000 or 200,000 get their usernames posted on the page’s leaderboards.
“The tension when you’re building up to the nearest thousand (which we call a ‘get’) is insane, considering anyone could jump in and steal it at any time — you have to time your comment perfectly,” he said.
Since becoming a community two years ago, the r/Counting has spawned a sister subreddit, r/LiveCounting. The users take advantage of Reddit’s relatively new live tool to rack up numbers as quickly as possible. One live thread has been counting “to infinity” for two months, and just recently passed the 40,000 mark.
“It’s not without its flaws — often someone accidentally makes a typo,” Owain said. “Once we went over a thousand…before someone noticed. As you can’t edit live comments, we had to delete everything from the last few hours and start again.”
Another active counter, u/arbn, told Mashable that though he can’t quite pinpoint what keeps him coming back, he said “it’s a mix of loving to see numbers go up, a love for counting and the sense of accomplishment one gets by getting a [thousand].”