How to stop wasting time online: Top 10 sites to avoid

The morning rituals of most office types involve the coffee and the bookmarks. The day doesn't truly start until you've perused sites X, Y, and Z – the old favourites such as Facebook and Twitter.

But what of the sites you absolutely, positively, should not visit at all? What of the sites you should avoid like the plague, as they’re chock full of time wasting content and sprinkled with nonsense?

These aren’t sites you should avoid because you’ll get in trouble with your boss. Rather, these are web pages you should give a wide berth at all costs, lest you get sucked into a wormhole of GIFs, listicles, bizarre videos, or political propaganda, never to return.

It's not because they suck, but because they suck time. They cause a rift in the space-time continuum that will have you wondering just how you managed to waste so many hours and get nothing in return except the fleeting joy of kitten pictures, pratfall videos, and other memes.

What they all have in common is they're pretty damn popular. Hey, we know you like a good time-waster – and so do we. But if you take our advice and shun these sites, you'll find you're not only more productive and better informed... you may just be a better person.

We include this – perhaps the greatest comedy gift the Internet has given to its people – because if you go and read one story, you'll stay all day. The Onion may be a little too worthwhile for our own good.

Get ready to shut down your brain. 300+ people crank out the inane, animated-GIF laden "stories" on this site by the hour. Naturally, the site's traffic is through the roof, as are its profits. As the hyperbole-loving Buzzfeed itself might say: "This site is DESTROYING THE WORLD."

Need a crocheted TARDIS tea cosy? Handmade jewellery crafted out of discarded Barbie dolls? Vintage shoes turned into lamps? I'm not sure if those items really exist on Etsy, but I bet they do.

Reddit, the "front page of the Internet," is a meme oasis, with up or down votes on what deserves to take top position. If you begin at the top and start looking around, things may change and you may get caught in an infinite loop, unable to leave.

Similarly, it's quite easy to get lost in a "Wikipedia wormhole." Indeed, Wikipedia's depth is infinite, as you link from subject to subject, never able to stop. It doesn't matter what topic you love – politics, Godzilla, astronomy, Gangsta walking, types of trombones – there are 4.4 million stories to peruse.

Have you been a bad doggie? Have you? Bad bad widdle puppy-wuppy? I will put this sign on you, telling the world of your crime, while you look sad for the camera. Okay? Sadder! There we go! Now to post it on the Internet…

Sometimes it's hard not to share a fun photo with friends. It's probably much harder for these kids, who share pics of their diamonds, boats, private planes, and many, many bottles of champagne held in triumph. Try not to pity them.

Another in a long line of "fail" sites, Damn You Autocorrect is about the failure of your thumbs. Or your failure to spell things correctly. Or your failure to notice what you've typed before hitting send. Whatever it is, these phone autocorrects are typically NSFW and typically hilarious because of the trouble they cause.

Fail Blog, from the CheezBurger network of funny cat videos, is the site of highest schadenfreude, celebrating in the immense failure (and stupidity and bad luck) of others. Like a car wreck, it is hard to look away.

The art of the engagement photo – typically taken long after the actual engagement, and thus staged for the camera – is on display here. It's a perfect example of how not to do things. Lovers, learn from their mistakes.