Waste work hours away with these Web sites

by Beacon Staff • November 8, 2006

Keeping students up late at night and forcing them to get almost no sleep, procrastination is a predicament that strikes when work piles up and motivation is nowhere to be found.

When there are so many opportunities to goof off, work seems unappealing.,On Emerson's campus, it's more common than big sunglasses and skinny jeans.

Keeping students up late at night and forcing them to get almost no sleep, procrastination is a predicament that strikes when work piles up and motivation is nowhere to be found.

When there are so many opportunities to goof off, work seems unappealing. Deadlines approach quickly, but your eyes stray from the Word document to your Internet browser, which can only lead to one thing.

Freshman theatre studies and marketing communication double major Torrie Rasmussen said she will do anything besides her homework when she should be cramming.

"Usually, the fish tank gets cleaned, my clothes get cleaned, my room gets cleaned, the dishes get cleaned and the suite gets cleaned," Rasmussen said.

No matter what procrastinators do with their time, some put schoolwork off because they believe it enhances the quality of the outcome.

Freshman marketing communication major Michael Lupacchino, donning a "Procrastinators Unite Tomorrow" T-shirt, said, "The real reason I procrastinate is because when the pressure builds, my best work comes out."

While cleaning can be a productive way to kill the time before that top-quality paper can be squeezed out, students will often use that time in more mindless ways, such as searching the Web.

Like most college students, Rasmussen spends a good amount of her time on Facebook. Once tagging photos and Facebook stalking loses its allure, students can spend their time on these less ubiquitous Web sites.

Livejournal.com/community/ohnotheydidnt

Feel like dissecting the divorce of Brit and Fed-Ex? You are not alone. LiveJournal members can join the Oh No They Didn't community and post and discuss the latest celebrity gossip. Sixty-four comments were made about an entry entitled "wtf," which featured a photo of "Flavor of Love" contestants New York and Pumkin awkwardly kissing. Though highly scandalous, the Web site does not go unregulated. Moderators weed out repetitive posts and ban members who personally attack others. If spending hours talking about Paris Hilton feels like time worth spending, ONTD is ideal.

Postsecret.blogspot.com

"I love when my Frisbee slams into strangers." This is one confession that is showcased on Post Secret. The Web site allows people to anonymously send post cards about their fears, hope, pride, love, loss-essentially, anything they have never shared. The most creative and provocative 4-by-6-inch cards are posted every Sunday, lucky for procrastinators who wish to put off their work from the week any further. The site allows an observer to feel as if they are revealing deep secrets such as "I know it's not possible but ... I would like to have a vagina-and a penis."

FoundMagazine.com

Rummaging through "finds" on this Web site is like searching through a garage sale: not everything makes complete sense, but everything is unique. A "find" is simply an artifact that someone procured, thought was interesting and chose to share. Though the Web site is generally used for sales of the magazine that compiles the treasures, they also feature a Find of the Day. After a few pieces, it is difficult not to go back deep into the archives. For instance, the Find of the Day for March 6, 2005 was a nine-of-diamonds playing card with the words "Stop calling us. You make my face hurt. Kick it." written on it in blue marker. The caption underneath said this piece was found in Texas outside of a Starbucks.

Womgames.com

This site features the amazingly addictive game Snood. Though the site offers numerous games, Snood is the most appealing because it's hardly complex and the title characters are so cute and vibrantly colored that no procrastinator could resist a chance to play with them. Though having to download the game off the site is annoying and makes the potential for future procrastination endless, Snood is worth the trouble simply for its old-school charm and likeability. There are no bells and whistles here, just a feel-good game with strangely named creatures in need of some lovin'.

TelevisionWithoutPity.com

Television Without Pity is a site with a near-cult following that provides recaps of popular television shows with a sarcastic twist. Though the recappers do give an accurate play-by-play of episodes of hit shows like "Gilmore Girls" and "House," they are also always sure to fill the recaps with snarky commentary and obscure pop-culture references. In a summary of an episode of "Desperate Housewives," one writer remarked, "I do declare this montage a true missed opportunity. They could have gone all Stanislavsky on those prop TV dinners' asses, performed a Method meltdown about the burning, oh the terrible burning. But this is 'Desperate Housewives,' the land where only the STDs burn."

Yelp.com

Searching by zip code, Yelpers (as they're known) can critique any business in any area. Procrastinators can spend their time reading or writing reviews for local businesses, ripping them apart or bragging about them. Wondering where to get the best sandwich, or if the Gypsy Bar is, in fact, the sketchiest and skankiest bar in Boston? According to 18 Yelpers, it was rated a three on a scale from one to five. Besides a rating, the site offers Yellow Pages-like information of the business' address, phone number and Web site, if applicable.

Weebls-stuff.com

When the two most popular games on a Web site are called "Atomic Badger Racing" and "Cat Death Auto," how could you resist giving them a test drive? Besides a variety of hilarious games, this page also features cool, colorful graphics and silly distractions that could keep any college kid occupied. Every month or so, a new animated "episode" of "Weebl and Bob" is posted, following the adventures of the egg-shaped titular characters, whose conversations are totally indiscernible except through word bubbles. And as if that wasn't enough, the site also offers up a store filled with Weebl merchandise like adorable Weebl plush toys and wacky tees.

JibJab.com

During the 2004 presidential election, this site, which specializes in political satire, was hot. So hot, in fact, that many of its amusing creations were nearly impossible to stream, due to the sheer volume of viewers. But now that the election is a distant memory, take a look back at such popular animated Bush-Kerry videos as "This Land" and "In D.C. Land." Both are parodies of popular songs that make fun of dimwitted Bush and flip-floppy Vietnam vet Kerry. But perhaps the funniest portrayal of any politician on JibJab is that of then-recently-outted New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevy as a flamboyant ballet dancer.

Though procrastination may be a common college affliction, time avoiding classwork can be spent doing more desirable things than cleaning and calling your parents. The next time a due date is approaching and inspiration does not strike, do not fight the urge to read someone's deepest secret or try to beat your high score on "Snood;" chances

are good that the rest of your classmates are doing the same thing.