slowing down on the sidewalk

i once hear that some sidewalks are designed to encourage the walker to slow down and to enjoy the shops, sights and diversions of their walks. similarly, i find that certain cafes also encourage their patrons to cozy up with a good book so that they can really savor their beverage in a pleasant atmosphere.

where are these places online?

many websites i visit are all about speed (maybe i’m just spending my time in all the wrong places). google returns search results quickly, twitter is rapid fire of news, opinions, and images. facebook is, well, garbage. but, funnily enough i don’t spend that much time on medium either. even though it is supposedly designed to be that breath of fresh air on the internet, there is very little vetting for the quality of the content i am reading. more often than not, i feel like everyone is selling something, so i trust nothing.

now, i am in a cafe with a book, and i don’t feel like anyone is trying to fuck with me or mine me for information. where are these places on the internet where you can simply pass the time?

youtube comes to mind. youtube! an endless sea of content with varying degrees of intensity and engagement. i have the option to turn on lo fi hip hop beats, or open a video of someone making pastries in japan. this might be exactly what i needed in the first place. however, i do not enjoy watching youtube in a coffee shop – for some reason i need it to be a more private experience.

youtube is also passive, in contrast to reading, which takes active effort for decoding symbols into ideas. reading a book in a cafe is doing something, while watching youtube is letting something happen to you.

i don’t really know they answer, but i am always looking for ways to slow down and enrich my experience on the internet. i am biased towards books (one of my first and longest standing loves) but i hope there are places on the internet where i can get the same kind of peace and engagement that i do with a good book. maybe it is games – video games along with the games of organizing my documents or making websites or learning to code.