As a writer, I can only try not to get sucked into the internet’s rabbit hole of distractions. Because I know I’ll end up in it anyway, I try to make sure the sites I visit are educational and/or inspirational in some way.
Now, the websites I listed below aren’t the end-all-be-all of how I procrastinated online in February. These are sites that taught me about different perspectives, helped me understand new topics, or taught me about history.
Several friends I met a few years ago started this site and I started following it to be supportive. But the reality is that the site actually good and much-needed in today’s world. For one, its founders are from Mississippi—a state that many people forget has an extremely high Black population—and it includes blog posts about history, events in the South, news, and satire.
Advice columns, such as Dear Prudence, Reddit’s famous AITA threads, and others are one of my weaknesses. I started reading Alison Green’s Ask A Manager because if I’m going to chase rabbit holes, I might as well read advice columns that will teach me something. Green answers questions about workplace etiquette, such as how to get ready for an interview, fixing epic faux pas, and how to deal with toxic situations. If you have a question about work, it’s like Green has already answered it, and it’s right here!
3. Newly Local
My friend Marina and her partner Fernando have been traveling the world with their young son. Marina writes blog posts discussing her observations as a digital nomad in several countries, traveling with a young child, and budget items that help you stay organized.
I discovered this website because they had a call for pitches, but began reading it after sending my query (which they published, yay!). I continued reading it because it’s a progressive site that covers women’s needs at work, sustainable fashion tips, lifehacks, food, and culture. The site offers practical advice and tips that are applicable to today’s working millennial women (and other generations as well!).
Eating disorders are a serious issue, and getting help can be difficult for women of color and Latinas. Most of NPP’s events are based out of Los Angeles and Orange County, California, but the organization also keeps an online presence on Instagram, where NPP shares self-care tips, art, and other information that can help women of color address eating disorders and fatphobia, as well as embrace body-positivity.
Campbell Walker is an Australian artist who makes comics about his observations. They’re usually light satires about hipsters, Australian issues, and the effects of screen addiction. He also has a great YouTube channel, where he’s candid about his past struggles and gives great advice to artists who struggle to create.
7. lavaca (Spanish-only)
I head of lavaca several years ago after watching a documentary called The Take, about the Argentinean factory workers that took back their jobs after the economic crisis of 2001. No way did I ever imagine I’d end up spending 4,5 years in Argentina and that I’d get to visit the cultural center that produces lavaca’s magazine, Mu, one that I religiously collected while living in Buenos Aires. The feminist website is in Spanish-only and a lot of what it covers is specific to Argentina, but its press also sells a wonderful array of books that discuss social justice, oppression, and women’s rights.
8. The Salve
I rarely talk about my own faith because I don’t adhere to the conservative politics of white Christians. When I heard of The Salve, I found a space for progressive Christians, but also a supportive community for people who’ve left the church because they felt shunned. The site also discusses mental health, racial justice, and life after the 2016 elections.
I really wish a resource like this would’ve been available when I was learning how to draw. Our relationship to lines, space, and perspective is so much more important than just learning how to draw one thing at a time (though if you only enjoy one thing, that’s fine too!). Drawabox has a lot of lessons and exercises, and its structured approach came out of Reddit’s Art Fundamentals subreddit.
10. Miss Filatelista
I heard of Lola Méndez through a writing group for women and we’ve been Twitter-friends ever since. She’s a travel journalist and vegan who promotes sustainability, numerous social justice causes, and seeks to understand other cultures. Her writing focuses on ethical travel and zero-waste experiences.