Let’s face it: none of us spends every minute we’re on the Web exclusively on ‘business.’ Whether it’s posting status updates on Facebook, shopping on eBay or Craigslist, pinning things on Pinterest, ‘grooving’ on Pandora, or catching up on the latest gossip about movies or Hollywood, people love to take ‘breaks’ online. But ‘play’ isn’t limited to gossip or games; you might be surprised at the way some of your colleagues spend those minutes of ‘down time.’ Here are some of the most popular places to ‘hang out’ on the ‘Net.
It’s no accident that weather.com is as big a hit as it is: there are a lot of meteorological ‘geeks’ out there. Besides being aware of what weather we’re about to drive into on the way to work, or trying to plan activities for our next holiday, some of us just can’t get enough of the radar, the technology, the videos of ‘storm chasers’, or the pictures people send in of what the weather looks and feels like where they live. It can be fun to see what the temperature is like in Tahiti…if you’re heading there when winter’s about to hit your hometown.
Besides the mere utilitarian aspects of a site like this, you can also learn how the weather affects your health — and your mood. You can sometimes even enter contests and win weather-related ‘gear.’ For those geeks among us who can tell you the difference between cirrus and cumulonimbus clouds…hey, it’s a great resource to help you win big at trivia games, if nothing else.
Food and Cookery Sites
Even if you don’t love to cook, chances are you like to eat — and that’s why food sites are among the most browsed on the ‘Net every single day. Whether they’re seeking an idea for a dish to bring into the next office ‘carry-in’ or help with the latest diet, lots of people spend lots of time on food sites. They come for menu ideas and for nutrition information — as well as for some suggestions on how to deal with the neighbour’s thoughtful gift of ten pounds of zucchini.
Close behind the actual food sites, of course, are places to find the various kitchen equipment you need to DO wonderful things with all that zucchini. These sites can be invaluable for a bride-to-be who’s had a ‘whatsit’ for a wedding gift, knows it has something to do with cooking, but is clueless as to anything further. If she’s got a name for it, she can look that up on a kitchenware site and…voila! She may not be any better a cook when she’s learned what it is — but there’s always a chance it will spark a whole new kitchen adventure.
Friends’ Web Sites
Of course you hang out at your friends’ sites…and friends of friends’ sites, too. If you’ve got a best friend who’s halfway around the world, this may be one of the better ways to stay in touch; text messages can take forever, while the Internet is instant communication. Some of these sites, no doubt, come about because of web designers Bristol Creative Den — among other services. But whoever designs the site, it’s a safe bet you and your friends hang out at one another’s pages regularly to share photos, songs, videos, commiserate about your favourite sports team…or maybe even weather facts and cooking tips.
Play Carefully—and in Moderation
Whatever you like to do online to relax — wherever you hang out — remember basic safety and security rules: the Internet is a big, public place, and not everybody who hangs out there just wants to be your friend. Observe common sense, and don’t waste too much time online at weather, cooking, or friends’ sites — unless being on those sites happens to be part of your regular day job. Then, you’re golden.