Walk by any dorm room at any time of the day and you’re almost guaranteed to find someone on the computer, not doing work. It’s happened to the best of us – you sit down at your desk, fully intent on finishing this essay, reading that book or maybe finishing a few calculus problems.
Inevitably, your mind wanders, and it happens: you glance at the computer. You think, I’ll take a break. Maybe you just check a few friends’ profiles on AOL Instant Messenger, no big deal – five minutes, tops.
You chat a little, maybe look up some lyrics to a few songs. Telling yourself all along you’re going to get that work done tonight. Definitely. An hour goes by, maybe two and before you know it, it’s 1 a.m. and you haven’t even started that term paper due tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. sharp.
Sound familiar? Fret no more. Now there are a whole multitude of Web sites out there with no purpose in particular, except to provide an excuse to be distracted. And they do a great job of it, too.
* Bored.com – Chock full of links to sites, some that are useful, some that are not. It includes sections such as Music, Fun, Quizzes and Trivia, TV and Movies and even ways to make money doing useless things online. There’s also tons of links to fun Web sites with silly things like pop song parodies and online bubble wrap. It’s the procrastinator’s oasis.
* Fark.com – Features links to real news sites and interesting articles, such as Dirt Rag Mag, where someone can “write a haiku about beer and bikes (and) possibly win free pint glasses,” or read this report on Yahoo News: “Pauly Shore to get his own reality show on TBS proving the theory, that eventually, everyone will have their own reality show.” If mom asks, tell her you’re catching up on the news.
* Ebaumsworld.com – From illusions, magic and jokes to Texas Hold ‘Em, Moron Mail, and weather updates, this site’s got everything you need if you’re trying not to do your homework. There’s even a picture of a bum right on the front page with a quotation: “I surfed ebaumsworld.com at work and got fired. Now I’m homeless. Thanks eBaum!” Go figure.
* Craigslist.org – Another garbage-pail site. Feeling socially challenged? It’s got personals, chat rooms and discussion forums on anything. Rent an apartment, find a roommate, find a job, post your resume or buy a motorcycle. In the Best of Craig’s List section, you can find a letter from a stalker to her ex-boyfriend, an explanation on why you’re still single and a comparison of women’s and men’s personal ads. You could get lost for days on this site.
* Thefacebook.com – Make your own profile, link to friends at the College and at other campuses, find people, relationships, kids in your classes, anything. Join groups or make up your own and find people in your major or from your hometown. It’s like AOL Instant Messenger on a Web site. If you go to the College and you haven’t heard of ‘facebooking,’ you haven’t left your room lately.
These sites aren’t all bad. They can be used for more than just wasting time. For example on Craig’s List someone can sell just about anything, look for a place to live, buy a car or even meet people. TheFacebook.com can be used to stay in touch with people from high school and keep track of friends on-campus and off.
“I use these sites to keep me posted on news – social news,” Amy Wood, sophomore international studies major, said. “(Facebook.com is) funny and that’s important especially when school is so stressful and you want to hang out with people but you don’t really have time to because of work. (You can) check up on them online instead.”
At least with Web sites like these to keep you occupied, there will never be the chance to be bored.