Links Roundup 01/27/17

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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January 27, 2017


The theme this week is a bit obvious: taking care of ourselves. We’re going to need to do a lot of that over the next four years and the internet has basically evolved into a gigantic anxiety-producing mill. I feel like this is not the original intent, but here we are. So here are a few things that people have written that have really helped me to get perspective and calm the fuck down.

There are also a lot of different software or browser extensions that you can use to manage your time online.

  • Make America Kittens Again: this Chrome extension replaces pictures of DJT with kittens. So you don’t have to look at his face while you’re reading about the latest horror from the Oval Office.
  • StayFocusd: this is another Chrome extension which allows you to set daily limits on how long you can spend on websites that you choose. Obviously, it can be gamed by using another browser or going incognito, but I find that it works well enough to make me think about how much time I want to spend on social media or news sites.
  • Forest works similarly, but in discrete chunks of time instead of a daily limit. They also make a phone app (which I wrote about last year and promptly stopped using).
  • RescueTime is productivity software that runs in the background and tracks what you’re doing with your time in front of the screen and then tells you what you’ve been doing with your time. You can flag websites and applications with varying degrees of productivity or non-productivity and there are a ton of other features that I haven’t really used. Using it has been a real eye-opener for me. There is an Android app but not an iOS one.
  • And if you need to go nuclear: Anti-Social and/or Freedom. Anti-Social lets you block specific websites at the computer-level for a set period of time. I haven’t used Freedom, but it looks like it’s very similar to Anti-Social but has more flexibility. It’s also more expensive and requires a subscription (monthly or annual).

If you can, take Twitter and Facebook off your phone. That’s done a lot to help me step away from the firehose of information, speculation, and catastrophizing. I’m curating where I get information from in more measured doses–I find that being able to mentally prepare myself for horrible news helps me cope with it. There is a reason my Twitter feed is mostly kitten pictures right now.

And last but not least, take care of your body the best you can. Eat food that nourishes and satisfies you. If you can, move your body. Sleep when you need to. And if you get the chance, punch a Nazi in the face.

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." Audre Lorde

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde

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1 Comment

  1. Megpie71

    I’m not sure whether this would fall under “helpful” or “harmful”, but one thing I’ve been doing for most of the past couple of months is a daily post on my Dreamwidth blog which lists three stories from the mainstream media about “what went right” (as opposed to the deluge of news about “what went wrong”). It’s mainly intended as a form of self-care, and a way of sharing with others that things aren’t entirely terrible – good things are still being done, good people still exist, good things are still happening, even though the major message we’re being sold is “doom, gloom and misery abound on all sides, it’s hopeless”. Even in the midst of things going wrong, they still go right – and as someone with depression, I’ve learned I have to train myself to look for those things going right, and pay attention to them.

    If people want to read through this, or follow what I’m doing, it’s available on


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