The Internet can easily become a vast black hole that sucks up all our productivity. It turns into a place where our will for learning, discovering, and satisfying our curiosity all get lost by the torrent of cute cats and dog GIFs, social media newsfeeds, “fail” pranks, and celebrity selfies.
Among all these entertainment-focused activities, however, you can still use the internet to improve your knowledge – and even learn new skills.
You’ll need to change your habits, though. Don’t automatically head over to Facebook; your life won’t get any better. Another scroll down Instagram is essentially another minute wasted. Instead, speed read articles and see how much more confident and productive you will feel in the end.
Language services like translation and localization are exponentially growing as more content is created online and has to reach new markets across the world. This is the perfect excuse for learning a new language or brushing up the French that you haven’t used since elementary school.
Sites like DUOlingo and BBC language help you get into a new language in a non-stressful manner. There are several language apps you can play on your smartphone and learn new words and phrases, a productive alternative to playing Candy Crush just one more time. First speed read the instructions for using the website or app, and then take all the time you need to practice your oral and written language skills.
Facts, and more facts
Whether you’re a fact hoarder or not, Factsie is a great website for learning exciting new facts about the strangest living species in the world, odd world records, and extraordinary customs and food delicacies.
Mental Floss and Today I Found Out are two other websites worth speed reading. You will get to learn about things like the Dancing Plague of 1518, and whether penguins have knees.
It’s a site we’ve all visited at one point: a vast database of helpful articles that touch upon virtually every aspect of life, whether that’s personal, professional, digital, or imaginary! From finding and avoiding hidden airline fees to how to use the Socratic method to win arguments and negotiations, Lifehacker is the speed-read site you need to improve every major aspect of your life.
There’s always that space of time in the week when you are bored to death, and you just want to hang out all by yourself, with no Facebook, no friends over, no family – just you.
That’s a super appropriate time for learning new things. Hop over to Quora and read what people say to explain something or ask a pressing question you’ve always had, like “When turtles lose their shell are they considered naked or homeless?”
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