Do you ever get bored browsing the internet or watching Netflix? Do you find yourself engaging in endless scrolling on social media, only to be frustrated when you never come across anything interesting or noteworthy? Maybe you’ve found yourself kicking off your shoes at the end of a long workday and you turn
on Spotify, only to be greeted by tunes you’ve already listened to dozens of times. Perhaps YouTube only recommends things that it anticipates you would like, so you never get to watch anything new.
Here are five ways that you can make the most of your streaming services and online entertainment:
Use the “Surprise Me” function on Netflix
It may seem counterintuitive to use because your Netflix offerings are already decided by an algorithm, but the reason why “surprise me” could shake things up is that it stops you from agonizing over your choice. Netflix can offer programs it thinks you will like, but it can’t choose for you…unless you hit “surprise me” on the main menu.
To stop yourself from backing out, agree beforehand that you will watch whatever show it recommends, regardless of how disappointed you might feel when it initially pops up. You may discover a new favorite show that you never would’ve chosen on your own.
Listen to pre-made Spotify Playlist
What is less apparent is that there are dozens of niche playlists like, “Songs to Sing in the Shower,” “tapioca,” “Villain Mode,” and more. Finding these lists takes a bit of searching and some luck. The way to start is by selecting an artist you like, then scrolling down to the section of the page that says, “Discovered On.” There, you can find a veritable treasure trove of connected stations and playlists that your favorite artist was once—or is currently a part of—and tons of new music for you to enjoy.
Focus your YouTube searches on learning
You may already be doing this if something goes wrong in your kitchen, with your plumbing, or with your computer. However, even if you don’t usually consider yourself a person who
wants to watch something “stuffy and boring” after a long day of work, there are so many channels on YouTube dedicated to teaching specific things in an engaging way. That is anything from music theory, to baking and cooking, to tips for fishing or fixing things around the house.
Even if you never plan to play an instrument or you have a landlord who is responsible for all your apartment repairs, many YouTube instructors incorporate fun and humor into their lessons and can keep you entertained for hours on end. The best part is that you’ll probably feel much better about your experience because you learned something.
Go to Creator Websites to Discover New Content
Maybe at this point, you’re still tired of what the main entertainment hubs of the internet have to offer. I’m pleased to inform you that there are many sites where new content is being generated every day. Metapop is a free website where independent producers create their own music. Even if you aren’t a creator yourself, there is plenty there for you to listen to and enjoy and you can even offer feedback on creators’ work.
Scribophile is a website for professional writers to come together and offer each other feedback, but even if you aren’t a writer yourself your feedback as a reader is still valuable, and you’ll get to see new works before they get published. These are only a couple of examples.
You could also sign up to beta test indie video games or go to art websites and engage with independent artists directly about their work.
Join a Free Online Course
I’ve found that the best antidote to endless scrolling is to have something else to do online that requires my full attention. Coursera offers online courses and many of them can be completed in 4 to 6 weeks. Some of them are paid courses, but if you browse long enough you can also find free courses in the subject that you’re interested in. You’ll receive full credit for completion but if you choose to pay a fee you can also receive a badge or certificate. In most courses, you can work at your own pace so the classwork can fit nicely into a busy schedule.
Hopefully, the tips that I have offered have given you some ideas on how to be less bored on the internet. Almost everything that I’ve presented in this article is an idea that I‘ve tried and worked well for me.
If you do decide to check out Metapop, feel free to visit my artist page at
https://www.metapop.com/snippysnacks I create music across genres and I would love to know what you think.
Image Credit: KoolShooters at https://www.pexels.com