Let’s face it: we spend hours on the Internet, on random links, reading lists and articles, comic strips, Googling whatever pops into our mind, laughing at memes and funny photographs. Sitting in front of the ever-open Facebook tap on the corner of our browser screens, every article or link liked by friend, or friend of a friend, must be clicked on and perused, to judge whether it’s any good.
If we resolve to make something, to gain a little something – whether it’s intelligent amusement, or some additional tidbit of knowledge to our mind – with all the hours and clicks we spend in front of websites on our laptop, the amount of time-wasting you can transform to a useful addition and a fun pastime is ridiculously brilliant. There’s no denying that there is time, and yes it can’t be spent rigidly and productively all the time, we all need our breaks and our time to click away randomly on the Internet and sit back to enjoy – it just doesn’t have to be an absolutely useless waste of time. So without further ado, here are some websites to enter into your laptop for some interesting, funny, informative, and casual reading!
Flavorwire (www.flavorwire.com) is a favourite because of the absolutely marvelous variety it offers with articles grouped under things like Art, Books, Music, Design, Film, Television, Media, Web, Fashion, Photography, Theatre, Celebrity and Pop Culture. Clearly, there’s something for everyone, and something for you no matter what mood you’re in. One of my favourite features by them is the monthly list they put together of books to read, which always include some very interesting and indie reading lists.
You’ve probably already heard of this endearing, hilarious web-comic and illustrator: www.oatmeal.com or The Oatmeal. Featuring funny lists, quizzes, and absolutely funny – and often meaningful- illustrated articles on things like ‘Find out how many vicious little Biebers you could take at once’, ‘How to Get Me to Watch A Movie’, and ‘My Stomach on a First Date’, the Oatmeal is guaranteed to make you laugh and think, and you will definitely close the window with your mind a little lighter – and fuller.
Maria Papova’s job describtion is ‘curiosity architect’ and the result is phenomenal culture-art-literature-inspiration website, BrainPickings at www.brainpickings.org. Browse through the beautiful, whimsically designed website for a little knowledge, to read beautiful old letters, to know a little more about your favourite writer. You could head over to the Literary Jukebox for some fresh and interesting new song that just might end up being your new favourite!
If you’re not in the mood for too much reading, but want to lazily kick back your shoes and browse through some photos, go to www.humansofnewyork.com. Humans of New York is a solo project by Brandon Stanton, and beautifully captures New Yorkers on the street coupled with short captions based on conversations and things they share. You probably already manically follow the page on Facebook, but the website is a great way to rediscover photographs from the HONY archive, and to allow yourself to be lost in his magical talent and the stories of people all over again.
Another project worth a mention is the New York Times feature of 2013 In Pictures, which puts together a host of photographs from last year and creates a perfect way of remembering the year gone by, maybe reminding you of things which slipped you by. Check it out at : http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/year-in-pictures/. This is a regular feature by New York Times so you can find older versions in their online archive, and look forward to future features as well!
Speaking of memory and nostalgia, a pop culture nostalgia blog on Tumblr I’m Remembering at
http://imremembering.com/, which puts together a host of pictures, mostly random but drawn from ‘the corners of your mind’ that are sure to take you for a trip down memory lane. Old calculators, sweaters, snapshots of the cartoon shows we grew up with, games we used to play while growing up: all of these find a place on this blog!
For a dose of happiness and music – yes, are you thinking of the song Happy by Pharell Williams? – head over to his day-long celebration of the smashing single at www.24hoursofhappy.com, a video and a surprise that will definitely make you laugh, tap your feet, and sing along to Happy! As super-fun and merry Pharell’s Oscar Awards performance was, this video is nearly better.
So this ends a collection of some exciting and entertaining things to do the next time you’re sitting and clicking through random memes and advertisements that flood your email inbox and social media profiles! The Internet is host to a huge collection of websites and information that don’t have to be boring, or too weighty for times when you want to open millions and tabs and simply read or watch things which are fun, and help you pass your hours. These links are a starting point for exploring this kind of casual reading and adding an interesting – and genuinely useful – link for you to share with your friends, talk about, and to create a new kind of viral sharing on timelines and newsfeeds. There are so many more such lively places on the world wide web, and a little cross-linking might just lead you to a new favourite!