Desperate for distractions - tumblr, twitter, and metafilter are out
November 9, 2016 5:30 PM   Subscribe

I need distractions from the end of the world as we know it, and I have to go zero-tolerance on my go-to scrolling of tumblr, twitter, and metafilter. I can't concentrate long enough to watch movies or tv shows, or read books. I'm looking for Internet-based distractions that include no political content and don't last very long.

So far the only thing I've found has been these Facts. videos of "Irish people do things," which are perfect in length and tone, but now I've seen them all.

All suggestions welcome.
posted by tzikeh to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
Would I Lie to You. British panel show where comedians try to convince other comedians that truths are lies and lies are truth. Extremely light.

The best clip and a good introduction, so long as you can understand Welsh, Scottish, and English accents. "Did Kevin Bridges accidentally buy a horse in Bulgaria?"
Archive of short clips.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:39 PM on November 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

Maybe read all of the Dear Prudence columns?
posted by Duffington at 5:46 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

My Cooking Video AskMe. I'm watching cooking videos right now.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:48 PM on November 9, 2016

Dangnabbit my links got screwed up. Here's the Kevin Bridges clip.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:49 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

So, this may be weird - but I've been perusing for fun. And messing with the filters - horse properties!, square footage, price, locations, etc. The possibilities are endless.
posted by Sassyfras at 5:52 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Tom Scott's Things You Might Not Know? They all come in under 6 minutes (I think only one goes over 5), some under 2.
posted by juv3nal at 6:07 PM on November 9, 2016

Oh there's also his Amazing Places series.
posted by juv3nal at 6:09 PM on November 9, 2016

Maybe not what you had in mind, but playing Wordament on my phone is really soothing to me.
posted by lakeroon at 6:11 PM on November 9, 2016

I totally feel you.

I can look around for more ideas tomorrow (I'm about to attempt one of my distraction techniques, going to bed early while listening to Sherlock Holmes radio plays), but in the meantime, just in case--have you watched all of Ze Frank's "True Facts" animal videos?

Something about the photography + delivery really pleases me and cracks me up.
posted by theatro at 6:11 PM on November 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

I've recently discovered the power of r/aww, a subreddit for cute baby animals. Despite Reddit's reputation, it's a oasis of good vibes, dangerous only (possibly) to diabetics and the terminally scrooged.
posted by kandinski at 6:12 PM on November 9, 2016

I've been putting my big giant headphones on, sorting podcasts from oldest to newest, and not listening to anything post 2015. The great thing about podcasts is that you'll never run into a sidebar story or a recent comment.

I managed about two hours' sleep last night that way, which was better than expected.
posted by ernielundquist at 6:19 PM on November 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

Some of my go-to distractions when I'm feeling like this:

- Car Boys -- Nick Robinson and Griffin McElroy giggle and smash cars in an open sandbox game with no goals or rules. Weirdly happy-making, and if you like their vibe they have a lot of other stuff under the Polygon account as well.

- Hulu has Adventure Time. You said no TV shows, but these episodes are 10 minutes long and full of nonsense, so might work anyway.

- Web comics -- randomly clicking through Dinosaur Comics is my go-to when it's bedtime and my brain won't fall asleep. Calvin and Hobbes is all online. AskMe archives will direct you to lots of webcomic options if something along these lines might be good.

- I've spent some happy hours trawling through the youtube tag on Mefi, which (when I opened two tabs at once) is how I discovered that "Helix Snake's top 50 favorite Skate 3 clips" go absurdly well when mashed up with the "Top Greatest First Singing Auditions." Either of those individually might lead somewhere good as well.
posted by john hadron collider at 6:33 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

I can't recall if there may be some triggering sketches in here, but the Loading Ready Run "Crapshots" series of sketches in this playlist have helped me in the past. Each sketch is less than a minute long and they can be absurdist, pretty geeky, somewhat nerd/video game/Magic the Gathering-related. I've been watching that, and Bob Ross on Netflix.
posted by TrishaLynn at 6:53 PM on November 9, 2016

TinyKittens always does it for me (rescue kittens live-streamed 24/7 by a non-profit in BC, Canada)!
posted by ClaireBear at 7:43 PM on November 9, 2016

The Try Guys
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:43 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love watching youtube videos from Big cat rescue. They have great videos like "Big Cats like boxes too" and "Do big cats like water?" I've passed a lot of time clicking on those various videos.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:50 PM on November 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

I am normally a huge reader, but also have found that I'm having a lot of trouble focusing. I know you stated no movies, but I have to recommend binge watching animated movies from Pixar and Disney. Light hearted, and won't really miss anything if you happen to fall asleep or lose concentration.
posted by LilithSilver at 10:22 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Being read to is a comfort for me. Of course you can pay for audio books or you can go to Librivox.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:15 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I highly recommend Steve Hayes's "Tired Old Queen at the Movies" videos--they're his reviews/recommendations of classic movies, ten minutes or under, and he is so engaged and knowledgeable and enthusiastic about it all that I always find them a bright spot. Our tastes in old Hollywood don't always coincide, but I always like seeing what he has to say.
posted by theatro at 6:39 AM on November 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

You might already have seen these, since they were discussed over on the blue, but just in case: there's a candy shop in Tallahassee that makes vintage candies using old techniques including an original Victorian-era candy roller. I find their candy-making videos mesmerizing and satisfying to help quiet the brain weasels:
posted by theatro at 6:53 AM on November 10, 2016

Filminute is an international festival of one-minute films--there are years of entries up on their site. I think the easiest way to navigate is the link at the upper right, "2016 winners & previous editions."

(Although of course I can't guarantee there are no politics in any of the films, since I haven't watched/catalogued them all.)
posted by theatro at 7:06 AM on November 10, 2016

Here's an article from The Advocate with links to "15 Must-See Drag Queen Cooking Shows".
posted by theatro at 7:11 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I also enjoyed episodes 1-5 of "Ikea Heights", the very short soap opera clandestinely filmed in an Ikea. (Eps 6 and 7 change up the formula, and I didn't like those ones as much.)
posted by theatro at 8:48 AM on November 10, 2016

5 short videos a day, family friendly:
posted by at at 9:38 AM on November 10, 2016

Yuletide fandoms at AO3; works written for a 1000-word-minimum fanfic exchange, going back several years. Mostly short works, suitable for short distractions. It's like an endless pile of fic-glitter.

The Primitive Technology channel at Youtube has some terrific videos about things like "build a mud house with bare hands." I find them nicely soothing when the stresses of modern life start piling up.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:25 PM on November 10, 2016

I've sunk myself into Civilization 6, as well as some neglected puzzler games.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:18 AM on November 11, 2016

I've marked some best answers, but if anyone is still reading, I'd love some more suggestions
posted by tzikeh at 4:37 AM on November 11, 2016

For cuteness, this is really lovely: 20 minutes of a mama cat licking and chirping to her newborn kittens. I've found it very soothing.
posted by rosiroo at 8:56 AM on November 11, 2016

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