Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
Abdul Pridgen will lead the district’s community-based safety program
Li Khan, Editor in Chief • June 21, 2024
Carpentry instructor spruces up department
Carpentry instructor spruces up department
Rym-Maya Kherbache, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
Archives
A cap at the Laney College commencement ceremony on May 24 reads in Spanish, This is for my mom who gave me everything. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
Graduations, resignations and more: PCCD Trustees wrap up school year at 5/28 meeting
Romi Bales, Staff Writer • June 17, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Archives

    The Button

    If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last two weeks, you’ve probably heard about “the button,” part April fool’s joke, part game, and part social experiment on the content sharing website, reddit. 
    The button has inspired the creation of dozens of groups and mock religions, pushed many to contemplate mortality and the meaning of existence, and even pitted large groups of real people against each other over the possible values of different colored dots. 
    On April 1, 2015, reddit users were introduced to the button. It’s a timer counting down from 60 seconds that resets to 60 every time the corresponding button is pressed. To make things more interesting, each reddit user gets only one chance to press the button and only accounts older than the experiment can participate. 
    Before you press the button, you have a small grey dot next to your user name, referred to as flair. Once you press it you can get one of a range of colors, depending on what number the timer was on. 
    Purple users pressed the button between 51 and 60 seconds. Blue users between 41 and 50 seconds. Green and yellow follow in the same fashion, with orange and red at the end of the timer. Out of more than 700,000 individuals who have pressed the button at the time of this article being written, not a single one has gotten orange or red. The timer has never dipped below 26 seconds. 
    There are dozens of distinctive groups related to the button. Many of them take on a religious tone, albeit mostly sarcastic or playful, but some take the button more seriously. Some talk about the values tied to each assigned color, insisting that one is superior to another. Some talk about being “pure” by not pressing, while others insist that pressing the button is the only way to truly experience and appreciate the fullness of life. 
    One user posted from his late wife’s account, saying that he would use her account’s one button press to prolong the life of the timer in her honor, hoping it might be a way to keep her alive a little longer too. Another claimed that the button itself is sentient and attempting to express itself, suggesting that the presses were silencing it’s cries. Even the media and public figures have gotten in on the action. The Washington Post called the button “addicting” and “apocalyptic,” while popular Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams tweeted that she would disown her brother if he didn’t get the red flair. 
    Why all the madness over a button? Maybe because it reminds us of how fleeting life is while simultaneously offering a distraction from that harsh reality. 
    We press the button to keep it alive, because maybe it will be worth it in the end. Or we don’t press the button because we find strength or serenity in knowing it will end. Or maybe it’s just a button and a timer and it really means nothing. Maybe that’s the point. We take this meaningless thing, and we worship it, question it, anthropomorphize it, fight over it. All for a bit of code on a website.
    Kit Berry is a tower staff writer. Email her at happycowsmmmmcheese(at)gmail.com.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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