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25 Websites Other Than Social Media To Upgrade Your Life

25 Websites Other Than Social Media To Upgrade Your Life

Have you been spending too much of your time on social media recently? Is that making much of your internet usage wasteful? Social media can be so addictive, so much that we spend hours on it without really noticing.

While social media does contribute in healthy discussions and is also our primary source of news and ideas at times, it’s equally likely to encourage us to refrain from learning something useful in our lives. It’s very important to keep our social media usage in check if we want to enrich ourselves with great learning experiences and upgrade our lives.

Here are 25 great websites which you should check if you want to escape from the vicious trap of social media and live a life full of knowledge, joy, and inspiration.

1. Coursera

1

    Coursera offers MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on wide range of subjects from hundreds of institutions and renowned professors. You can teach yourself anything from history to programming and learn with a large online community. You can receive a world class education right from your home for free and develop a solid background in a subject area of your interest.

    2. edX

    2

      edX is another MOOC platform where you can take online courses from the finest universities in the world. It was initiated as a joint venture by MIT and Harvard University. It also offers hundreds of courses in different subject areas, similar to Coursera.

      3. Khan Academy

      3

        At Khan Academy, you can access a wide-ranging library of interactive content on almost every subject out there. You don’t only learn those subjects through wonderful videos, but you also have chance to practice on the subject regularly and keep track of your learning. It’s a great platform to both learn new things and expand on earlier knowledge.

        4. Udemy

        4

          Udemy is also a MOOC provider, but unlike academic MOOC providers like Coursera and edX, it focuses on providing real-world skills online. It offers courses on topics from building an ecommerce site and playing guitar to photography. It’s actually a marketplace for online learning, where experts on different subjects offer you lessons, either for free or at a certain price.

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          5. Quora

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            You can learn almost anything on Quora from experts and recognized people, as well as not-so-famous people. This is a question-answer platform where users ask and answer questions. But, unlike other similar sites, the user profiles are authentic and questions and answers are managed according to their uniqueness and relevance.

            6. Stack Overflow

            6

              Stack Overflow is probably the single most important site for a programmer. If you’re a programmer, or want to learn programming, this site should easily be your best friend. At this question-answer site for programmers, you can ask questions about your computing difficulties and learn from other people’s answers.

              7. Codeacademy

              7

                At Codeacademy, you can learn programming languages like HTML, CSS, PHP, and Python in a very easy and interactive way. It makes programming a fun activity and is very handy for beginners starting at programming. However, the depth it covers is very shallow and this site is helpful only for introductory knowledge of the subject.

                8. Tutorialspoint

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                  Tutorialspoint is another programming and computer science related site on this list, which helps you master different computer-related topics. It provides in-depth knowledge, unlike Codecademy. You can grow on the basic foundation provided by Codeacademy and achieve mastery on anything from Big Data to App Development at Tutorialspoint.

                  9. eHow

                  9

                    eHow teaches you wide array of skills on different topics step-by-step. The content is created by its team of writers, called experts, who create how-to guides on topics from personal hygiene to food recipes. You can learn anything from making a Raspberry Pi Alarm clock to making a scarecrow for your garden.

                    10. Wikihow

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                    10

                      WikiHow is another how-to site teaching us how to do things in an organized manner, but it has been modeled as a Wiki. At eHow, the staff themselves are paid to create the guides, but at Wikihow, everyone can edit, modify, and delete content. So, it’s not just about learning — you can also teach others the valuable skills you possess.

                      11. HowStuffWorks

                      11

                        HowStuffWorks is another wonderful website to broaden your horizons, providing you with very unique and interesting information on a wide range of topics. It contains articles focusing on issues which haven’t been explored much previously. If you want to move an inch closer to the truth, this is surely the website you should visit often.

                        12. TED

                        12

                          According to TED, its mission is to spread ideas that are worth spreading. It features talks on variety of topics by experts in their fields who share their ideas, visions, and experiences through video talks. These talks are great way to introduce yourself very quickly and effortlessly to new concepts and develop new insights and perspectives.

                          13. Lumosity

                          13

                            Lumosity is a great website to improve your mental faculties like memory, attention, and analytical skills. You can train your brain with fun games, and it also offers you personalized training programs to restructure the training as per your needs and keep track of the progress. Its objective is to make you clever, and it’s quite addictive as well.

                            14. Duolingo

                            14

                              Duolingo is an award-winning platform that helps you learn and master new languages with minimal effort. It provides you advanced skills in several popular languages, such as Spanish, English, German, and French. It makes language learning a very easy and fun process and it’s completely free as well.

                              15. Instructables

                              15

                                Instructables is another wonderful site you should definitely choose over social media, which teaches you to create things. It offers you fun videos and instructions to build just about everything that you can imagine, from a cardboard batman cowl to water balloon mortar. You can also share what you can make with other people.

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                                16. Digital Photography School

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                                  Digital Photography School is probably the most important photography blog out there, which offers plenty of tutorials to improve your photography skills. It doesn’t matter if you’ve years of experience under your belt or you’re just starting out, this site will surely help you grow as a photographer. It also provides you the opportunity to connect with a community of fellow photographers.

                                  17. All Recipes

                                  17

                                    At All Recipes, you can find recipes for almost all kind of dishes. You can even enter ingredients and find possible dishes you can cook with your available list of ingredients. There are very easy and quick-to-cook recipes as well, so you can satisfy your palate in a short time and without much hastle. This one is definitely the site to help you embark on a cooking adventure.

                                    18. Spreeder

                                    18

                                      Reading quickly is an ability desired by many of us but also one which very few of us possess. Spreeder is there to help us achieve exactly that. It is an online speed-reading software that aims to help us improve our reading speed, and comprehension capabilities as well, and is completely free.

                                      19. Project Gutenberg

                                      19

                                        Project Gutenberg offers you more than 50,000 eBooks, all for free. You can download these books in ePUB, Kindle, or PDF formats, or you can even read them online. This site is completely legal as well, since the books available are ones with copyrights that have expired or that have been made free for non-commercial use by the publishers.

                                        20. Investopedia

                                        20

                                          Investopedia is your ultimate finance guru that teaches you everything you need to know about financial trends and also helps you to keep your own personal finance in their best shape. With this site, you can teach yourself about investments, share markets, liquidity, accounts, and much more. There are abundant tutorials and videos to help you with that as well.

                                          21. Curious

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                                          21

                                            Curious provides you with more than 17,000 lessons in almost any topic. As the site states, its mission is to help you learn something new every day and you can start it for free, but you have to pay certain amount to get unauthorized access.  You can learn from the world’s best teachers in topics spanning across humanities, STEM, music, relationships, and more.

                                            22. Memrise

                                            22

                                              Memrise helps you learn new things in small chunks. It offers small-sized learning packages in a wide range of topics, from language learning, arts and literature, history, and geography to math and science. The lessons are additive in nature, meaning you learn small packages at a time and build upon earlier packages to learn advanced skills.

                                              23. Zen Habits

                                              23

                                                Zen Habits is one of the best motivational blogs on the web, which aims to help you find simplicity amidst the chaos of your daily life. It helps you get rid of the mess and focus on the things that are important and that matter the most to you. The site’s design also embodies its principle, as it’s minimalistic and publishes only the best and most meaningful articles.

                                                24. Brain Pickings

                                                24

                                                  Brain Pickings is not just another productivity blog in the crowd out there, it’s one of the most soulful and inspiring blogs on the web. It features thoughtful and analytical articles on topics related to literature, spirituality, creativity, and personal growth. Its focus is on things that truly help us grow and things that really matter, and the blog’s not very hard to keep up with either, as it posts few but powerful articles.

                                                  25. Psychology Today

                                                  25

                                                    Psychology Today teaches you about various facets of human psychology, helping you to understand the ways in which people behave. Its rich pool of articles help you fathom different aspects of human life, such as relationships, neuroscience, addiction, motivation, amongst others. You can benefit by applying these principles to the betterment of your life.

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                                                    Nabin Paudyal

                                                    Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                                                    Last Updated on June 12, 2018

                                                    Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                                                    Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                                                    A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

                                                    You know how this looks:

                                                    • Parents constantly comparing children.
                                                    • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
                                                    • Domestic violence.
                                                    • Adultery…
                                                    • And many others.

                                                    For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

                                                    Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

                                                    Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

                                                    This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

                                                    In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

                                                    If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

                                                    How to fix a dysfunctional family

                                                    In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

                                                    And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

                                                    Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

                                                    It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

                                                    Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

                                                    Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

                                                    There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

                                                    Dysfunctional… Or just average?

                                                    Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

                                                    The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

                                                    You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

                                                    A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

                                                    Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

                                                    Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

                                                    • Unrealistic expectations
                                                    • Lack of interest and time spent together
                                                    • Sexism
                                                    • Utilitarianism
                                                    • Lack of empathy
                                                    • Unequal or unfair treatment
                                                    • Disrespect towards boundaries
                                                    • Control Issues
                                                    • Jealousy
                                                    • Verbal and physical abuse
                                                    • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

                                                    You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

                                                    If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

                                                    Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

                                                    How to turn it around

                                                    When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

                                                    But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

                                                    One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

                                                    We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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                                                    As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

                                                    What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

                                                    Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

                                                    Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

                                                    Correction is possible

                                                    In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

                                                    Verbalize it.

                                                    All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

                                                    Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

                                                    This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

                                                    But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

                                                    So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

                                                    Putting it to work in real life

                                                    In real life it would be something like this:

                                                    “OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

                                                    Or:

                                                    “Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

                                                    Or:

                                                    “Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

                                                    As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

                                                    This is what you have to remember:

                                                    1-Stop.

                                                    2-Why it’s wrong?

                                                    3-What you need.

                                                    And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

                                                    It’s a family thing

                                                    A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

                                                    Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

                                                    In other words, you will need cooperation…

                                                    So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

                                                    Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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                                                    We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

                                                    You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

                                                    It’s not a free-for-all battle

                                                    In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

                                                    No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

                                                    Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

                                                    And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

                                                    The method

                                                    1. Drop the ego

                                                    Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

                                                    You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

                                                    Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

                                                    What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

                                                    It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

                                                    After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

                                                    Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

                                                    Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

                                                    Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

                                                    And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

                                                    You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

                                                    2. Not blame, but responsibility

                                                    When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

                                                    But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

                                                    When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

                                                    What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

                                                    Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

                                                    As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

                                                    You will do something like this:

                                                    “Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

                                                    I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

                                                    You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

                                                    I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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                                                    It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

                                                    What happened here?

                                                    We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

                                                    We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

                                                    We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

                                                    And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

                                                    You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

                                                    This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

                                                    3. Doing the work

                                                    What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

                                                    This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

                                                    Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

                                                    If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

                                                    It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

                                                    “When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

                                                    I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

                                                    But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

                                                    You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

                                                    Love is all you need

                                                    You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

                                                    That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

                                                    And what happens if it simply is not there?

                                                    What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

                                                    What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

                                                    There is only one thing you can do:

                                                    To break away.

                                                    Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

                                                    There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

                                                    “We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

                                                    If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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                                                    Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

                                                    You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

                                                    Putting distance

                                                    So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

                                                    What do I mean?

                                                    Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

                                                    Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

                                                    Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

                                                    Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

                                                    They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

                                                    Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

                                                    I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

                                                    I choose my peace of mind.

                                                    And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

                                                    Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

                                                    Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

                                                    How to prevent it

                                                    There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

                                                    • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
                                                    • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

                                                    Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

                                                    You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

                                                    Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

                                                    Priorities and clear thought

                                                    You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

                                                    You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

                                                    You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

                                                    Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

                                                    If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

                                                    And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

                                                    Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

                                                    But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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