There’s a great joy that comes in discovering new things on the Internet. When you have great sites to come back to and resources to use, suddenly the Internet isn’t just a place you browse mindlessly, it’s a tool that enriches your life.
Over the years I’ve collected little joys from across the web — places I go back to when I need to think, need to unwind, or need to learn. Here are a few of those:
Sunday secrets are a kind of like a Sunday church service for me. Each Sunday, founder Frank Warren posts a dozen or so postcards on the PostSecret blog, submitted anonymously to him through the mail.
The postcards tend to be hand-designed and contain a message from the sender’s heart that they wish to share, but maybe can’t or don’t want tell the people in their lives. The secrets range from serious to comical, but a common tie among them all is this message that we’re all human — we have strange thoughts and desires, and sometimes we aren’t brave enough to be completely honest in our daily lives. PostSecret gives people a place to do that.
This is another blog fueled by anonymous submissions. Readers submit the last message they received from ex-lovers, ex-friends, as well as people in their lives who have passed away.
The result is a heartbreaking collection of regrets and cathartic release.
I’m not sure why I love this blog so much. Maybe it, like PostSecret, does a fine job of reminding me that we’re all human and we all have experienced loss or dealt with things that, at the time, felt unbearable. I tend to turn to TLMR when I simply need to feel something — it tugs at the heartstrings.
For music lovers, this is a page you have to bookmark. NPR does this fantastic service for our ears where it streams albums in their entirety before they release. You read that right. Some of the best music of today is at your fingertips before you can find it anywhere else.
Perhaps the best part about this program is the fact that you can try unfamiliar music before you buy it. Many of the artists I’ve previewed with First Listen were ones I never would’ve stumbled upon otherwise. So far, I haven’t met a random First Listen I haven’t liked — most recently listened to and loved “Cautionary Tale” by Dylan LeBlanc.
For anyone who can’t resist a good, true love story, The New York Times has a weekly, reader-generated series of essays that “explore the joys and tribulations of love.”
Especially as a twenty-something who has next to nothing figured out in this category of life, I always enjoy reading these stories of how other people do (or don’t) have it all figured out. This is another great place to visit to feel connected to people you’ve never met, in an honest, no-holds-barred way.
Various news sites
While I do enjoy getting my everyday news from The New York Times and The Washington Post, where I can get a comprehensive overview of what I should be aware of, there are a few other websites I frequent for more obscure or long-form reads.
The Atlantic is definitely my favorite place to read a variety of news articles — it just does a fantastic job of producing articles that are both fascinating and original. Data-journalism site Vox is a great resource to really understand complicated stories, as its writers do a fantastic job of breaking big ideas into manageable bits of information.
Have other favorite bookmarks? I’d love to hear them; comment below!
This is a guest post written by Caitlin Essig.