Wasting time on the web: BYU students’ favorite websites


As a student, spending time on a computer is practically a given, but most students do not spend all of their computer time solely focused on homework; they peruse popular websites much of the time as well.

A collection of students’ favorite time-wasting websites includes:

Facebook — Facebook is a popular social networking site. According to Facebook’s website, there were 955 million monthly active users at the end of June 2012. Sean Ricks, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, enjoys spending time on Facebook.

“I like to stay connected with people and know what’s going on with my friends,” he said.

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Apart from keeping up with old friends, some students enjoy perusing two unofficial BYU Facebook Pages: BYU Memes and Overheard @ BYU. BYU Memes acts as a platform for users to submit BYU-themed religious, funny or just random memes. Overheard @ BYU is a page dedicated to quotes others overhear around campus. Ariel Hong has a well-liked post on Overheard @ BYU that reads:

“Me: if BYU had a department wide Hunger Game competition i’m pretty sure we (wildlife and wildland conservation) would win. Prof: Probably, i have 16 guns in my office and a mountain full of ammo. we can just sit on the 8th floor and gun everyone down, while the Psychology department tries to talk sense to us.”

VirtualNES — Those who enjoy playing video games might enjoy this website that takes several old Nintendo Entertainment System games, such as Super Mario Brothers, and makes it so anyone can play them on their computer.

YouTube — YouTube is a website that functions as a place to view user-submitted videos.

“There’s just always different videos to watch,” said Emily Roderick, a nursing student from Manassas, Va. “There are so many crazy ones out there.”

Freerice — This website allows people to answer trivia questions to donate rice to impoverished countries. For each question answered correctly the United Nations World Food Programme donates 10 grains of rice to fight world hunger. The website has five different languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian and Korean) and several different trivia categories such as vocabulary, humanities, math and chemistry.

Pinterest — Becky Maskell, a senior from Temecuela, Calif., described Pinterest as an electronic bulletin board. Users find websites that contain recipes, house-cleaning tips, craft ideas and more and pin them to an electronic bulletin board which is shared with their followers.

“I like it because I don’t have to go through and clip magazines for cool ideas,” she said.

StumbleUpon — Similar to Pinterest, StumbleUpon is a website that acts as a collection of websites. Users can choose a category, such as photography or travel, and find websites that relate to that category. Shayla Frandsen, a senior studying English, said she finds StumbleUpon entertaining.

“I get on and there’s one interesting thing, and then I just keep going,” she said.

Tumblr. — tumblr. is a website where people can create a blog to post quotes, photos, links, music and more and share them with the world.

“It’s a great place for people to express themselves,” said Ali Kinkade, a sophomore from Bent, Ore. “Everyone says such weird things, and everyone is okay with it.”

AwkwardFamilyPhotos — This website has a gallery of quirky, odd or just unusual family pictures.

TED — TED, which stands for “technology, entertainment and design,” is a website where people can view videos of talks and performances for free. According to the website, their goal is to spread “ideas worth sharing.” Raquel Williams, a sophomore from Cedar Falls, Iowa, described the TED talks as informative and entertaining.

I waste so much time — A collection of entertaining material including YouTube videos, memes, cartoons, photos and more keeps users of this website occupied for hours.

IMDb — The International Movie Database (IMDb) acts as a database for movies, TV and celebrity content. Alex Vincent,  a senior studying music education, enjoys spending time on IMDb.

“I love movies,” he said. “I just like seeing what directors and actors are doing now and what they are doing next.”

Even though many students spend time on the web, students disagree as to whether it is good or bad to waste time. According to Alex Scullin, a freshman studying bioinformatics, spending time surfing the web can be detrimental because students could be doing homework. However, Kirsten Grossen, a freshman studying mechanical engineering, said spending time on websites can be a stress reliever.

“It takes away the stress from school,” she said. “I always need a break when doing homework.”

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