|Logo for The Browser|
You can find everything online. While this isn’t actually true, it sure sometimes feels like it is. Even if you have to pay, which, I mean, come on, who actually pays for stuff online? (We don’t need to go into that.) But, even though it feels like there is an article for every interest, a picture for every occasion/mood/event/place, a video for every idle second, a gif of literally every single cat and puppy walking the earth, there isn’t always a good way to distinguish the good from bad without wasting a lot of time doing so. Reddit is a “good” (that term is very subjective and open to all kinds of debates) source of gifs, videos, funny pictures, etc. that have been vetted to a certain degree by a very large online community. Essentially, it’s a good way to waste the better part of a day not really doing anything.
But articles and interesting content to read can be a bit trickier to find. Wasting your time looking at pictures or gifs online doesn’t normally seem all that wasteful (though it defiantly can be) because it takes almost no thought or concentration, and to comprehend any given image takes only a second or two. Unlike articles or stories which take way longer (in most cases) to read, and require much more concentration. Fortunately there are a few places that will read and sort out all the junk for you, giving you a list of what a few editors believe to be the best content on the web for that day or week:
The Browser: This one is my favorite.They scavenge the internet’s vast, information clogged [insert space/byway metaphor here]* so you don’t have to. Almost everything I’ve read from this site has been worth my time. And they have a good variety of of topics; everything from politics to science to big Scottish guys throwing really heavy things in the air to show how big and Scottish they really are.
Longreads: Very similar to The Browser, but with more search refinement tools so you can zero in on exactly what you’re in the mood to read.
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: This site is not like the others. It does not scour the internet for content, but instead posts short, mostly funny little tidbits that are a great way to blow off a little steam at the end (or in the middle of) a rough day.
*’Highway’ is typically used, as in ‘the information super highway,’ which in 2013 seems a little dated and wrong. In my more pessimistic moods ‘sewer’ seems more apt, if slightly Luddite-ish and cranky. In an effort to find some common ground between the two, maybe a better metaphor would be ‘the information super dollar store.’