Ten time wasting websites
YouTube – Though it seems like much longer, YouTube has only existed for five years. It was created in February of 2005 by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim and is now owned by Google. YouTube, as if you didn’t know, is a video forum for posting your own videos and watching videos posted by others. Among the most popular (and hilarious) YouTube videos are Justin Bieber – Baby ft. Ludacris, with over 344,000,000 views; Lady Gaga – Bad Romance with over 287,000,000 views; Charlie bit my finger – again! with over 238,000,000 views; and Evolution of Dance with over 153,000,000 views.
Psychology Today – Based on a magazine by the same name, Psychology Today has become a popular website for those interested in various aspects of psychology including human nature, social psychology, evolutionary psychology and psychotherapy. On the website there are blog posts about flirting, sex, forensic science, narcissism and more. These posts are primarily written by formally educated psychologists and come in handy when dealing with roommates or trying to get that cute boy’s attention in class.
StumbleUpon – Possibly the most addictive website on this list, StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that links users to various websites based on the interests that user selects. StumbleUpon allows users to define their interests and subsequently leads them to websites that fit their tastes. StumbleUpon users may find themselves on humour websites, quotation websites, political websites or websites of various other themes or combinations of themes. If StumbleUpon links you to a website that is less than appealing to you, simply click the button in the top left corner and stumble onto a new one.
Chatroulette – This website allows for users to interact via webcam. Chatroulette differs from applications such as Skype in that the user doesn’t know who or what they will be facing when they are on this site. That is, they are randomly matched up with another Chatroulette user and if the conversation is less than stimulating, the user can click and switch to interacting with another random user. Why the name Chatroulette? You chance interacting with the likes of a totally wacko. Or, who knows, you may end up chatting up Ashton Kutcher.
The Onion – The Onion proclaims itself as being “American’s finest news source.” It is a website that offers opinion articles, political articles, economical articles, science and technology articles with a humourous satirical twist. One particularly catchy Onion headline is Study: Women Always Answer Their Phones Unless They’re Having Great Sex With Someone Else. The Onion is also available in print in several American cities. Occasionally their news stories are mistakenly cited as real news.
xkcd – Online comics can be witty and informative. xkcd comics are particularly hilarious and educational.
xkcd presets itself as being “a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” They are posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and are written by Randall Munroe, a former NASA roboticist.
A warning is expressed on the bottom of the xkcd website: “this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).”
xkcd comics are not known for their intricate visual appeal (for reasons that become evident after visiting the site) but are addictive non-the-less.
Pandora – For all you music lovers out there, Pandora is a site where users can search for their favourite bands and artists. After a search of the band, an artist profile will appear with a brief biography and a list of all that band’s discography. What is particularly appealing about Pandora is that it provides a list of “similar artists” that you can check out. It is a great way to discover new bands in genres you already know you enjoy.
Furthermore, Pandora provides users with a “comprehensive analysis of music” through what they refer to as “The Music Genome Project.” Pandora is intented to be a customizable Internet radio station, however, due to licensing constraints, Canadian users are unable to access this feature.
Freerice – This is a charity website where users answer multiple choice questions. For each right answer 10 grains of rice are donated to the World Food Programme to help end world hunger. Users can choose between six different question categories including art, chemistry, geography and learning language. The questions increase in difficulty with every question answered correctly. Users can also compete with other users and top players are ranked weekly.
Freerice is both educational and altruistic.
Tetris – According to fleur.de.livres, “Playing video games could be an unlikely cure for psychological trauma.”
“Researchers at Oxford University hypothesized that playing Tetris after witnessing violence would sap some of the cognitive resources the brain would normally rely on to form memories. A well-structured study in the journal PLoS One confirmed the finding – Tetris acted like a ‘cognitive vaccine’ against traumatic memory.”
But beware, too much playing may cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Wikipedia – Your professors may say that it is an unacceptable reference source for research essays, but in many cases Wikipedia provides users with a comprehensible definition and history of a variety of topics. So that users can ensure the accuracy of what is written on Wikipedia, a list of references is listed at the bottom of each page.