The 10 websites your homework hates

By Acacia DiCiaccio

1. Facebook

Clearly there’s no question on this one. I bet half of you have another tab open with Facebook on it as you read this. Facebook has become so many college students’ addiction and their homework’s worst enemy. Sometimes when I’m supposed to be writing a paper I find myself looking at profile pictures of friend’s friends that I don’t know. It is a serious problem that can be seen any time you enter the library or a computer lab—at least half of the people who are trying to do work have Facebook up instead. There is the games section, where you can find just about any mindless computer game you’ve ever wanted. There are endless apps. There are friends saying silly things. There is Farmville. Sometimes I try to imagine what students were doing seven years ago when Facebook was still just a notion in that Harvard student’s head. They probably got a lot more done.

2. StumbleUpon.com

I learned about this website a couple of years ago and I have weaned myself from it because it was taking up too much of my life. Now that I return I am dangerously close to returning to my addiction, as it has now been linked with Facebook so you can see what sites your friends stumble upon. It’s basically a big database in which you choose from a long list of interests and it finds  websites related to things that interest you. Say you are interested in art, it could bring you to a forum where people share their art, it could bring you to an article about a specific type of art, it could bring you an artistic YouTube video, or sometimes it could just bring you to a cool photo.

3. Sporcle.com

Their tagline: “Mentally stimulating diversions”. Perfect. It is a site full of timed quizzes on just about anything you can imagine. There are different categories you can look through, or you can hit “Random Quiz” until you find something that appeals to you. Each quiz will show your score at the end and, if you want, you can view how you compared to others who took the quiz. This site is also fun to do with friends because the brain power between multiple people can only increase your score  and the excitement.

4.KillSomeTime.com

This website was chosen for the list while similar websites were not because it has just about everything in one place. It has funny videos and pictures like CollegeHumor but also has the wide array of stupid, yet extremely amusing, computer games such as featured on AddictingGames. It is a great source for popular and hilarious videos, but they are easier to discover than on YouTube. Plus, the name of the website just works perfectly for this list.

5. TheOnion.com

Why read real news articles when you can instead read rather hilarious, satirical versions? The Onion is a website of news articles that are completely made up but sound legitimate. You may wonder why you would want to read factious stories when you could be educating yourself on topical issues. Most of the things written on The Onion are based off of true events but made with ridiculous twists. Kind of like The Daily Show. The best fun to be had with the website could quite possibly be showing these articles to gullible friends and watch them become outraged at what the world seems to be coming to.

6. TextsFromLastNight.com/FMyLife.com

For those of you who still live in the prehistoric ages, Texts From Last Night is where people send in outrageous texts that they receive for the world to see and FML is a series of stories of people’s unfortunate lives. Both have on several occasions caused me to LOL at inappropriate times, (i.e. using a computer at the library, during class, etc.). Ever heard someone say “Eff my life!”? That spawned from this website. UMass also has its own TFLN group on Facebook, strictly chronicling the crazy nights at the Zoo, although I think everyone has forgotten about it because it’s mostly just ridden with spam now. I believe we should change that! (I spent way too much time procrastinating on there.)

7. Yayeveryday.com

Not quite as many people have heard of this site before; that makes me happy to be a pioneer in all things procrastination! Everday collects cool artsy photos and videos for your enjoyment. I think their database goes on for just about forever. (Actually 262 pages as of right now.) I like these photos better than the ones on Kill Some Time because they’re done by really talented people and are really appealing to look at. This site is also great because you can click on the photo or video to see where it’s from, and I have found some pretty neat blogs this way. They also add new things constantly so it’s difficult to ever get bored.

8. Wikipedia.org

No, Wiki is not just for writing misinformed papers anymore. Ok, well so it is, but I also find myself spending way too much time on this website accidently. I type in something I want to know more about; such as sporks or Billy Corgan, and with all of the blue highlighted words I end up reading encyclopedia articles about things that have nothing to do with what I originally searched. Not only this, but now Wiki has a bunch of spin-offs, such as WikiQuote and WikiAnswers. I actually just searched “procrastination” and found this lovely quote, “it is estimated that 80%-95% of college students engage in procrastination.”

9. Yahoo.com

This may seem like an odd thing to put on this list. But I’m telling you, I’ve never before spent so much time on Yahoo except when it was my go-to search engine. My favorite part of Yahoo aside from the free email server is the news section. I’m not huge into news that involve politics or really big words but Yahoo always seems to have a good stream of interesting articles that change every day. Had it not been for Yahoo I wouldn’t have bothered to see what Katy Perry was supposed to wear on Sesame Street nor would I know that Peter Jackson has been given the ok to film “The Hobbit”. Awesome.

10. CuteOverload.com

I don’t know about you, but nothing brightens my day like adorable baby animals. This blog has readers submit cute photos or videos of animals and the site administrators add funny captions. New blog posts are up every day. Even if you believe that you are just too manly to have others see kittens on your laptop screen, just remember, girls LOVE baby animals.

Acacia DiCiaccio can be reached at [email protected].