Pleasant Internet Things in 2021
The Postlight team shares their places for internet bliss.
A friend of mine likes to point out that when people jokingly say, “The internet was a mistake,” they’re mostly referring to specific pockets of social media that make them feel sad and alone. But, hey, that’s not the internet’s fault! The internet is vast, and while it sometimes harbors messy, murky, and even ugly things, it still has pleasant, fun, and delightful places to spend time.
Paul and Rich recently discussed their favorite Pleasant Internet Things on the Postlight Podcast, but we also put the question to the Postlight team: Where do you go when you just need to relax, escape, or have a little fun online? Here’s what they said:
Extremely specific field recordings
“This YouTuber records long videos focused on ambient sounds around the world. On-site recordings trick my brain into thinking I’m there while I’m working.” —Patrick Delaney, Product Designer
“WindowSwap is a nice escape from reality. It’s a place on the internet where all we travel-hungry fools share our window views to help each other feel a little bit better until we can (responsibly) explore our beautiful planet again.” —Liz Tan, Lead Product Designer
Never Too Small
“Never Too Small makes me feel motivated to design a life and home that is both sustainable and lovely. They feature five-minute videos about how people across the world are making better use of existing real estate to meet the needs of a growing population. The apartments are functional and creative and aim for minimalistic living. Soothing indeed.” —Grace Sunnell, Senior Product Designer
An enormous archive of old BBC radio shows
“What’s better than hundreds of BBC radio shows? They’re all right there. Hundreds of them. You can just listen to them. That’s all. What else could you want?” —Paul Ford, Co-Founder & CEO
“Orb.Farm is a sealed ecosystem simulator for the browser built in Rust/WASM. There is something very pleasing about watching a small world develop on its own and observing how it adapts and evolves to changes in the environment.” —Zach Harris, Senior Engineer
Liziqi’s YouTube channel
“Liziqi’s videos are creation stories with ASMR vibes. She rushes nothing, everything has a purpose, and mundane things become beautiful. It’s also beautiful to see her create things from literally the ground up. Watching her shear sheep to eventually create a shawl, or grow vegetables to cook a specific meal, is really beautiful and wholesome.” —Lyssa Fineman, Product Manager
The Sims 4
“The Sims isn’t exactly an ‘internet’ thing, but it is technology, and it is very pleasant. I like making ‘people’ do exactly what I want them to do, at a time when we have no control over anything.” —Maya Mashkovich, Product Designer
People I’ve Loved
“People I’ve Loved is an art studio and card shop based in Oakland, CA. I love their artwork. It’s sweet, and I like sending their work to my friends. One of my favorites is a digital illustration that says, ‘I’m so glad you were born so that I could know you.’” —Tina Phan, Product Designer
Brooklyn Bird Alert
“They’re birds that I could have seen, but probably didn’t!” —Preston Richey, Senior Engineer
“I am simple. Chillhop’s combination of artwork and chill vibes is all the relaxation I need. Serene, peaceful, and certainly pleasant. I like the ones with the Raccoon the best.” —Dana Nugent, HR Manager
Adam Pash is a Director of Engineering who heads up Postlight Labs. Drop him a note: email@example.com.
Story published on Feb 3, 2021.