The Internet is a black hole.
It’s as easy as the click of a keyboard pad to get lost in the vortex of never-ending blog posts, photos, videos, gifs, and memes.
But sometimes — waiting in line at the bank, chilling at home with NBC Nightly News (and by that, I mean The Bachelor) on in the background, trying to numb your mind from an exhausting day at work — wasting time on the Internet is the perfect pursuit.
In those instances, it’s great to have a handful of go-to time-wasting sites that make the perfect brain candy — great visuals, easy scrolling, entertaining reads — so you don’t have to actually wast time finding things to waste your time.
Here are 15 of my favorite websites to get lost in:
- LifeHacker: The destination on the Internet for tips, tricks, and hacks for getting stuff done. The best part about tripping from link to link to link within the site is that the content is actually useful and productive.
- BuzzFeed: The web’s nerve center for listicles provides endless entertainment in the form of stupid (read: hilarious) memes, awe-inspiring photos, and irresistible nostalgia.
- The Daily Dot: This hub for viral Internet news combines LOL-worthy snackable stories with business, crime, politics, entertainment, and lifestyle intel that’s informative and indulgent at the same time.
- Medium: Twitter’s long-reads site Medium is packed with great easy reads on everything from being a 90′s kid and how to piss off your barista to how to write emails like a CEOand lessons from fatherhood.
- Behance: Like LinkedIn for designers, but also fun to ogle at even if you’re not looking to hire talent. It’s a visual treasure trove of graphic design, photography, illustration and more. You can filter by everything from colors to tools used; or browse the curated galleries by organization or school.
- Pinterest: The time-waster of all time-wasters. It’s kind of insane how addictive it can be to scroll through Pinterest’s endless waterfall of images, or to rearrange and tweak your own boards until they’re perfect. Or, let’s face it, to pretend your own cocktail cart is as freakishly cute and organized or your own pumpkin bread with honey butter icing looks like a Saveur cover shot on your kitchen counter. They don’t, and it doesn’t matter. You have better things to do: read time-wasting websites!
- Cool Hunting: Cool Hunting is the go-to for cool ideas and products in which art, design, culture and technology intersect. Think San Francisco artist-created coffee cups for charity or the Indiegogo-funded Boddie Smartwatch. There’s also an interesting Interview series with artists and designers.
- Quipsologies: This carefully curated chronicle of “curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events” in graphic design has sucked many an hour away from my day.
- Etsy’s Tumblr: I’m a huge proponent of supporting small and local makers, and some of my favorite pieces come from Etsy. The site’s Tumblr is a visually rich patchwork of highlighted items from prints and drawings to clothing and jewelry.
- Uncrate: Similar to Cool Hunting, Uncrate is a digital magazine of interesting finds in tech, design, and culture. This one’s geared towards guys, but who ever said the ladies can’t get down with camping gear or single-barrel bourbon?
- NOT COT: Similarly, NOT COT scares up the coolest products and projects from the web. The perfect way to get lost in the site is its Random button, which pulls up randomly selected post after randomly selected post from its years-deep archives.
- Vine.co: Vine’s new web-based feed lets you endlessly scroll through 6-second video loops ranging from the impressive to the ridiculous. Try TV mode, which lets you zoom in on one Vine at a time for optimum viewing.
- Refinery29: Its bread and butter is fashion and shopping, but there are also great articles on tech, entertainment, food, and wellness. Since so many of the (visually gorgeous) articles are evergreen, relevant any time, it’s easy to get lost in the site — in a good way.
- Swissmiss: An oldie but a really goodie. Tina Roth Eisenberg’s hand-picked assemblage of great design finds, inspiring quotes, and awesome products is perfect for mindless but fulfilling Internet consumption.
- Thought Catalog: This inspiring compilation of thought-provoking short reads hits that sweet spot of being easy on your brain while not leaving you feeling like you wasted an hour of your life for nothing and can never get it back. The site also has a pretty awesome Pinterest page with boards like “How To Evaluate Your Life,” “Netflix Is My Spirit Animal,” and “Awkward People Will Relate To These Pins.”
Which sites would you add to this list?