Killing your time on the Internet is synonymous with wasting your life on the couch. Sure, there’s plenty of entertaining stuff moving and making sounds on the screen, but just how productive is it to sit there staring at it for endless hours without gaining any real value. If you think about it, you’ve likely spent a total of days, weeks, or maybe even months of your life sitting behind the computer screen aimlessly surfing the Internet.
With that in mind, here are six of the best sites where you can kill your time — and do it productively.
TED started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers in the fields of technology, entertainment, and design. Today the site has more than 1500 talks that average about 20 minutes, with more added each week. TED’s purpose is to empower people to change their attitudes, lives, and the world. If you’re interested in exploring the depths of your mind and passionate about leaving a positive impact in the world you inhabit, check out these talks. To help get you started, check out these 15 talks that’ll change your life.
Digital Public Library of America
This digital library brings together the contents of the country’s libraries, archives, and museums, making them free to the world. It uses three main elements to achieve this mission: a portal, a platform, and a public option. The portal provides users an innovative way to search and scan through the library’s collection. The platform, or application programming interface, creates environments for learning, discovery, and engagement. And, of course, the public option keeps these materials are accessible to the public without charge.
In case the TED Talks or the Digital Public Library of America seem too intimidating for your tastes, you can always head over to Mental Floss where you’ll get a humorous spin on “smart” stories. This web magazine’s mission is to make you learn while also making you laugh. The website includes the following sections: Amazing Facts, Knowledge Feed, Big Questions, Lists, and Quizzes. Click on any one of these five sections and you’ll quickly find yourself glued to the screen learning all sorts of random stuff you never thought you’d know. Happy hunting!
If you haven’t heard of Reddit by now, who knows where you’ve surfed on the Internet. This online community is filled with people from all around the world and includes information on just about any — yes, by any, I mean any — subject or topic your mind can think of. With more than 7,400 active communities and more than 110 million unique visitors in January 2014, this vibrant community is a great place to lost if you’re looking to kill time. Just remember to remain careful about staying productive — it’s easy to fall into the trap of following nonsense.
Youtube is another website you should be familiar with by now. If you’re not, then you probably have bigger problems surrounding how you use the computer (or don’t). Founded in 2005, this website allows billions of people to watch, discover, and share videos. It’s a great way for people to connect, inform, and inspire others from around the globe. Whether it’s watching a clip of your family member blowing out their birthday candles, or viewing a documentary on man’s evolution, you’ll find just about anything you can think of on this platform.
Big Think aims to move past the vast amounts of random information on the Internet and get to the stuff that counts. The website adheres to three standards when posting material: significance (how will the idea change the world and impact the reader’s life), relevance (what individuals and groups does this idea affect most), and application (how can this idea change the way people think or act). Whether it’s discussing telepathy to connect with people or using Bitcoins to gamble, Big Think will teach you things that impact your life.
These are just six of the sites out there that can help you kill your time productively. What’s your favorite?