The next time you’re in the airport trying to kill time between flights during a layover, babysitting a sleeping child whom you can’t really leave alone, or just want to spend a lazy afternoon not getting anything useful done: here are three great websites that are also giant time wasters. Enter at your own risk.
Run free of charge to the world-on-the-internet by David and Barbara Mikkelson, Snopes.com is the place to go if you want to find out if that story about the axe murderer buried across town is really true or not. Simply put, they do urban legends. They write, “We employ the more expansive popular (if academically inaccurate) use of ‘urban legend’ as a term that embraces not only urban legends but also common fallacies, misinformation, old wives’ tales, strange news stories, rumors, celebrity gossip, and similar items.”
TV Tropes is a well-maintained wiki for cataloging “the tricks of the trade for writing fiction.” It started out just covering television, but tropes exist everywhere, and so their scope has expanded. According to the website, “Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word cliché means “stereotyped and trite.” In other words, dull and uninteresting. We are not looking for dull and uninteresting entries. We are here to recognize tropes and play with them, not to make fun of them.” It’s such a time suck, in fact, that there’s an entire page called TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life.
If you still have time after tackling either of those two websites, I give you… tumblr. It’s a little time-intensive at first, but you’ve got time, right? Create a login and “follow” other tumblr blogs. After you’ve followed enough people/institutions, your dashboard interface will basically do the work for you as soon as you sign in. And, you can “reblog” other users’ content to your own (micro)blog. It’s basically WordPress Lite. (To say nothing of WordPress itself being HTML Lite, but that’s for another day.) You can check out 2Shopper on tumblr while you’re at it!
Do you have any time suck websites you’d like to share? Any cute cat video compilations or dogs wearing hats pics? Sitting in the airport is really boring.