Internet

The nicest websites to visit when the internet is too much

If you spent too much time online — for work or, perhaps misguidedly, for pleasure — you might feel the urge to do something on the internet that isn’t quite as devastating as reading the news and keeping up with Elon Musk. For those times, consider swapping your hour on the social media cesspool that is Twitter for a couple of minutes scrolling through a pleasant Reddit thread, or discovering the vastness of space.

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Here are my picks of the 10 best places on the internet right now. Some will alleviate your anxieties, others might encourage them to flourish, but they’re all worth a visit.

give me puppies, please
Credit: Screenshot / Reddit

When I first happened upon the eyebleach subreddit, I thought it would be full of things so terrible, so deeply unsettling, that you’d need to bleach your eyes after spotting them. But thankfully, I was wrong! With 3.4 million members posting only the nicest content, r/eyebleach is, instead, full of things to look at when you need your eyes bleached due to the deluge of horror on the internet. Scroll through, and you’ll find a photo of three dogs with their heads resting on each otheror a bear cub doing what I can only describe as a lil’ jiggold some dude gaining the trust of a hummingbird.

A photo of a person who does not exist

But… she looks so real
Credit: Screenshot / this person does not exist

This one is not quite as nice as some of the other options on this list but unbearably fascinating. If AI and deepfakes are interesting to you, this website will either make you very excited or give you a lot of nightmares. Here, computer scientists generate fake people using generative adversarial networks, or GAN, and then show them to you each time you refresh the page. Similarly, you might enjoy This Cat Does Not Exist, This Artwork Does Not Exist, This Horse Does Not Existand, for the nerdiest among us, This Chemical Does Not Exist.

The AF Gang Facebook page

Music and mental health, all in one place
Credit: Screenshot / AF Gang Facebook page

Whether you’re a fan of the British-Irish rock band Idles or not, AF Gang is one of the best places to spend time online. They have a subreddit and a Facebook page, dedicated not only to Idles’ music but also to creating a community in which talking about mental health is welcomed. If Idles isn’t your specific kind of music, try out others fan-created online communities to celebrate bands — like the “Jeff Rosenstock I Look Like Shitposting” page, for example.

Screenshot of the 100,000 stars website

We are very small and the universe is very big!
Credit: Screenshot / 100,000 Stars

Do you remember that scene in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, when Obi-Wan Kenobi is trying to find a planet, and all the planets show up in front of him in a hologram? This is basically the website version of that, without any of the Star Wars references, and also it’s on your computer instead of floating in front of you. It shows a representation of the galaxy, with all the stars inside it, and lets you take a tour of it starting at the Sun.

A screenshot of the A Soft Murmur website

Give me ambient music, please
Credit: Screenshot / A Soft Murmur

When you want good background noise but can’t find the right tune, this is the best website to find that perfect auditory experience. Just wiggle the sliders, and create your ideal calming background noise. The mere process of creating this will put your mind at ease.

A screenshot of the indieheads subreddit

Talk music to me
Credit: Screenshot / r/indieheads

With over 2 million members, Indie Heads is one of the largest music subreddits on the platform. It’s a place to read AMAs with your favorite indie artists, discuss new music, and write about your favorite album of the year. If you’re a fan of indie music, this is one of the best places to spend your time online.

Screenshot of the moth website

Tell me a story
Credit: Screenshot / The Moth

If you want to just listen to some stories — by Neil Gaiman, Kim Sykes, Tricia Rose Burt, or any number of talented writers — The Moth is a delightful way to do just that. It’s relaxing, educational, and the website is easy to navigate and fun to use.

Screenshot of the Cats Being Weird Lil Guys Twitter account

The cats really are being weird lil guys
Credit: Screenshot / Twitter

I wholeheartedly believe that Twitter is a terrible place to spend any amount of time on, no matter how funny the tweets can be. But there are some Twitter accounts — like Cats Being Weird Lil Guys and Make Up A Guy — that are simply so wholesome that it makes staying on the site actually worth it.

Screenshot of the I wish I was Shitposting about music in a bunker Facebook page

I want shitposts!
Credit: Screenshot / Facebook

You don’t have to love music to enjoy it I wish I was Shitposting about music in a bunker Facebook page — but it’d probably make it a bit more fun. Chock-full of poorly made memes and discussions about new music, it’s one of the most delightful places on Facebook.

10. Websites dedicated to cute animals

A dog and a cat

Brb, I just need to look at a cute animal for a second
Credit: Screenshot / open puppies

When all else fails, it’s important to get your daily dose of serotonin. Enter the websites dedicated specifically to cute animals, like Borns Zoo and Open Puppies and this livestream that just shows you a bunch of brown bears.

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