Double King, one of the internet’s greatest treasures
Where do you go to waste time on the internet? Facebook and Twitter, the usual default answers, are exhausting. Scrolling through them feels like work. “I don’t know how to waste time on the internet anymore,” says Dan Nosowitz in the internet-culture blog Select All. We agree with him that it’s way too easy to get trapped on boring and negative social feeds. But we don’t agree that the internet doesn’t have any fun, crazy places left. If you’ve forgotten how to waste time online, try these sites and happily while away the hours.
Just a warning, however: The fun parts of the internet are sometimes NSFW.
Not that many people use Tumblr these days — but the ones who are left are entertainingly kooky. To find them, start with some aggregation Tumblrs: Ryan Hates This (by BuzzFeed internet-culture writer Ryan Broderick), or ERARG, or Sound Designer Jeans. These blogs circulate tons of weird shit from everywhere on Tumblr, most of which will make no sense, just like classic internet. Ryan Hates This leans toward “relatable” stories and memes, while ERARG and SDJ are more bizarre.
Between these three you’ll see posts about Alton Brown’s BDSM cooking challenges, a leaning tower of Jager bombs, a Belle and Sebastian-style song about peppermints, a vulgar debate about chocolate milk, a man losing 12 hours of video game progress, and a nightmare remix of “Mr. Sandman.”
Other, less freaky (but still fun) Tumblrs that are still kicking include Shit My Players Say (a collection of funny Dungeons and Dragons stories); linguistics blogs Lyrics and Language and All Things Linguistic, and the trippy art blogs Absolute Science Fiction, 70s Sci-Fi Art, Tales From Weirdland, and Tomorrow & Beyond. These blogs mostly run original posts, but their occasional reblogs are another good way to fall down a Tumblr hole.
Reddit is sometimes a regressive hellhole, but it’s got good parts, we swear. If you want to laugh, try YouTube Haiku, Interdimensional Cable, Sketch Comedy, Trippin Through Time, Humour, Commercial Cuts, Dank Christian Memes, and Shitty Robots.
If you want to learn, go to Ask Science, Ask Social Science, Ask Historians, Cool Guides, In-depth Stories, True Ask Reddit, You Should Know, Data Is Beautiful, Linguistics, Philosophy, Photoshop Tutorials, or I Want to Learn, or sample all kinds of informative Reddit posts on Depth Hub.
If you want to relate, try Ask Reddit, Feminism, Today I Fucked Up, or Does Anybody Else. If you want to feel bad or weird or unsettled, try Cringe, A Boring Dystopia, or Oddly Terrifying. If you want to look at pretty pictures, go to Earth Porn (SFW), Fort Porn (SFW!), Human Porn (seriously, SFW!), Imaginary Cityscapes, Noisy GIFs, or Short Films.
I don’t know why people aren’t constantly talking about this site, which explores all the “tropes” — common story elements, good or bad — in all kinds of art and entertainment. I read it every time I finish any book, film, or movie. I read it when I want an educational introduction to some topic like history, science, or politics, without Wikipedia’s dry language and tendency to ignore the fun bits. And every time, I end up opening twenty more entries in new tabs. And because it feels like such an education, I don’t even feel bad about all the time I spent on it.
See all the tropes depicted in You’ve Got Mail or in A Wizard of Earthsea. Read trivia about The Silence of the Lambs or The Fast and the Furious or Black Panther. Get lost among five seasons’ worth of hidden jokes in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Learn about the musical tropes in the work of Pink Floyd or Kendrick Lamar. Learn where exactly Dungeons & Dragons games take place.
Zoom out past specific works, and see all the tropes that date back to ancient literature, or the tropes that used to be popular, but never appear in modern fiction. Read Roger Ebert’s glossary of movie terms. Read about all the types of episode that every TV show has, like the villain episode, the cowboy episode, the Halloween episode, the road trip episode, the documentary episode. There are even episodes in here that Community didn’t do!
Learn whose role in the French Revolution has been overblown. While you’re at it, learn about former French colony Haiti and its own revolution. Get a general survey of Gnosticism or the British political system or Fermat’s Last Theorum.
We’ve got a whole sister site for games. Try their browser game section. Monster Breeder is cute, as are the xkcd exploration game and idle game Universal Paperclips. Or browse the Web Games subreddit.
For happy time wasting, I especially recommend the “io games” genre — multiplayer games like slither.io and agar.io, and their thousands of imitators, where every player tries to eat, shoot, or ram into the others without being eaten, shot, or rammed into. The best io games are listed among the io games subreddit’s all-time top posts, or at the iogames.space aggregation site.
It isn’t all Logan Paul and music videos. Peter Gilroy is down-the-middle funny sketches. Chesca Leigh is relatable sketches. Neil Cicierega is wacky sketches. Aunty Donna is wacky Australian sketches. 5 Second Films is very short wacky sketches. Bad Lip Reading is funny recuts of music, movies, and sports clips. Mary Houlihan is a standup doing challenging character work. ProZD is gamer comedy. Gabriel Gundacker and Demi Adejuyigbe are Viners who became YouTubers, except they’re good and nice people. The Katering Show is a funny Australian cooking show.
Breakmaster Cylinder is “weirdo hip-hop” music videos. Chassol is refined and relaxing sound collage music. Eclectic Method is frenetic and pop culturey sound collage music. Bill Wurtz is somewhere between comedy and education and vaporwave.
Exurb1a is like Bill Wurtz calmed down and became your coolest teacher. Tom Scott is your second-coolest teacher but whose lessons stick with you longer. Jillian Mayer is a performance artist who goes viral sometimes. Joseph’s Machines is a channel full of Rube Goldberg machines. I have no idea what Poppy is.
Every Frame a Painting is (was) basically film school from the analytical side, and RocketJump Film School is film school from the practical side. Felix Colgrave is cartoons that have evolved from a grimy Adult Swim aesthetic into slightly Miyazaki-esque witty art pieces like Double King.
And So On
Classic humour site Something Awful is still putting out surprisingly good work, for how little mainstream attention it gets. Reductress is funny. ClickHole is funny. Have you really read all of ClickHole?
The SCP Foundation is a collection of creepy speculative fiction, presented as the logs of a Men In Black-style secret organisation that collects supernatural beings and objects. Anyone can create an entry on SCP, so quality varies, but you can start with the 100 most popular posts.