We (the royal and collective we – but mostly Dave), spend a huge amount of time online – which has soared during lockdown for obvious reasons. I’m glued to my screen either for work or news and it got me to thinking what else could I be using my computer for that was ‘for me’. I’ve collated my top ten list of things to do online for free that isn’t refreshing the news website:
Be My Eyes app
A recommendation from Kirstie Looms, and such a bloody brilliant idea.
The Be My Eyes app gives live video assistance to people who are visually impaired. This’ll be especially crucial for anyone who needs to peruse an essential store and wants to get in and out as quickly as possible OR someone who’s social distancing and has fewer people around them to ask for help.
Over 200,000 people with visual impairments use the app and there are over 3 million people who volunteer to help them. This is a cool way to give back and help someone who really needs it while you’re at home.
Kirstie’s review: “I helped a woman work out what street she was on as she had lost her bearings. I helped her read the sign on the store she was stood outside. Not gonna lie, cried a little.
Spy on animals
Need I say more?
There are SOOO many live animal sanctuary camera feeds to look at on the internet – you can watch all kinds of animals including polar bears, lions, pandas, and more!
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo has webcams on its lions, and elephants. The Georgia Aquarium lets you watch its beluga whales, penguins, and piranhas.
Looking for something to spark some joy? Why not tune into Edinburgh Zoo’s ‘Panda Cam’
Take a virtual museum tour and leave the house without actually having to leave the house.
You can visit places like the Vatican museums and the National History Museum and The National Gallery in London.
Type in the name of several classic games on Google and play them on the search engine page without having to visit a dodgy looking website with dodgy looking pop ups!
You can play Pacman, Google Snake Game, and T-Rex Dash. For T-Rex Dash, just search “T-Rex Dash” and then turn off your Wifi. The “No Internet” dinosaur will pop up and then all you have to do is press the “space” bar to get the dinosaur to start jumping over hurdles in the game.
Unsubscribe that negativity in your life
It’s an oldie but a goodie – spend some time unsubscribing from email newsletters you haven’t read in months.
If you have Gmail it actually has a feature that does this for you! It’ll prompt you every once in a while to ask if you’d like to unsubscribe from a newsletter you haven’t read in a while.
Become an Excel wizard
I love a spreadsheet me.
Chandoo is one of many amazing Excel experts who wants to share their knowledge with the world. It might not be sexy but OMG, macros.
Google Arts & Culture to take you away to somewhere else
So, so, so many things to explore on here but I 10/10 recommend: Beyond the Map Rio de Janeiro. Take a walk (sort of) to iconic spots like Copacabana Beach and Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor)
Understand basic psychology.
Knowing the basics of psychology can bring context to your understanding of yourself, the dynamics of your family and friendships, and the woes and wonders of society in general. Some really interesting stuff!
Yale University has its Intro to Psychology lectures online for free.
Learn how to negotiate
This free course promises to make you a ‘better negotiator’ helping you to ‘make principled arguments that persuade others’.
Tie your shoelaces more efficiently.
If you’re weird like me and always looking at how you can ‘optimise’ your day (e.g. switch the kettle on, then get breakfast so the kettle is ready straight after) then this could be for you. It’s simple – and just imagine the minutes of your life you’ll save!