I have a confession to make — I am in an Internet rut. I have my safe, small routine: I check my email, the news, a few gossip websites, Go Fug Yourself, and a few blogs here and there, and I'm out. Partially this is for self-preservation: if you work from home, you've got to limit your distractions or suddenly you'll have spent three hours looking at vintage comic book panels. But it's also stultifying — and every time I've tried to widen my horizons and dip my toe into the wider unknown, the flow of information been so overwhelming that I've scurried right back to my little hole.
This particular experience, being swamped by the sheer wave of data in our environment, is called information overload, and it's not very pleasant. Wouldn't it be fabulous if there was a savvy, intelligent, tasteful, feminist friend to cherry-pick the best of the best of the Internet for me?
Well, now there is. I've collected suggestions from every smart, amazing woman I could find (including Bustle writers, obviously) for sites that people love, regularly visit, and recommend to others. This is far from a definitive list, but it's a good start, and it caters to all tastes, from whimsical design to hard-hitting news to jokes about Drake.
So if you're looking to break out of your comfort zone in 2015, get clicking.
Lifestyle & Design
A Beautiful Mess: a lifestyle blog covering everything from recipes to style to DIY, run by sisters from Missouri.
Style Scrapbook: the simple look book blog of an Amsterdam-based fashionista, with daily looks and fashion inspiration.
Under Consideration/Brand New: a site that reveals and reviews brand redesigns, from Red Bull to Condé Nast.
Swiss Miss: a design blog/studio run by the woman behind Tattly and Creative Mornings; seriously great for design professionals and oglers alike.
The Great Discontent: a collection of interviews with creatives of all stripes, from artists to directors (Tavi Gevinson featured recently), with a new one published every Tuesday.
HonestlyWTF: a curated blog of art, jewelery, design and interiors from South Africa, awesome for drooling over stylish things you may never own.
Offbeat Empire: comprising Offbeat Bride, Offbeat Home & Life, and Offbeat Families (which is now just an archive), this site collection by Ariel Stallings is all about celebrating the nontraditional, from weddings to DIY to relationships.
Art & Film
Metropolitan Museum: the New York museum has digitized their archive for you to explore, and they pick out special artworks to feature every day.
Every Frame a Painting: a Youtube channel about the beauties of film, exploring the intricacies of how the magic's made. Will change your entire outlook on your next cinema trip.
Pajiba: one of the best movie review sites around, with a heavy dose of sarcasm and a great feminist slant, particularly in the opinion pieces.
Bored Panda: viral content with an artistic twist, as artists all over the world submit their projects and users add their own. The photography is particularly great.
We Had Faces Then: for lovers of vintage film, this is a collection of screen caps and GIFs from black-and-white classics.
Science & Technology
I Fucking Love Science: started as a Facebook page by a single female science-lover (who got a lot of crap about being a fake geek), this is now one of the biggest science-centric blogs on the web.
Geekologie: a geek's haven, from gadgets to film to the furthest limits of science and technology.
Radiolab: this is the blog of a radio show about science's most complex and hilarious questions, and it collects some of the most interesting (and pretty) science around.
American Museum Of Natural History: the venerable museum in New York has its own Tumblr, and it celebrates things like Trilobite Tuesday.
News, Comedy & Gossip
The Toast: founded by two women, this is news and culture through a hugely funny feminist lens. (This is such a firm favorite that five separate ladies insisted it be on the list.)
Kveller: full of witty, intelligent commentary on life as Jewish women, from parenting to politics.
Lainey Gossip: a smart, funny gossip site that lets you into the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing of Hollywood, from agent-arranged hook-ups, to the business of Oscar campaigns.
Longform: a non-profit collection of the world's best long-form journalism and fiction, from big names to up-and-comers.
NotAlwaysRight: for anybody who's ever worked in customer service, stories of bad, hilarious and insane customers from servers around the world.
The Rap Insider: satirical, Onion-style hilarity about the rap world. (With an appropriate portion of jokes about Drake, obviously.)
What Color Is It: this takes the current time, converts it into a hex code, and transforms the background into the hex code's color. Bustle design maven Caroline Wurtzel called it "mesmerizing and pointless all at the same time," which sums it up pretty well.
Call Me Ishmael: this site is a must-listen, as it's a collection of reader-submitted voicemails about books that have touched them and stories from their own lives.
Reasons My Son is Crying: currently a best-selling book, it's also pretty effective birth control, as parents post all the ridiculous reasons their small children are crying.
Public Domain Diva: an addictive Tumblr entirely devoted to GIFs from the bizarre annals of vintage film history, from educational clips to '50s commercials.
Attack Of The Cute: every incarnation of cute animal photography that has ever been seen, all in one place.
Yes and Yes: a sweet blog all about forming a community of people who help and appreciate each other; with interviews, skill-sharing exchanges, and loads of travel tips.
Images: A Beautiful Mess, The Great Discontent, Metropolitan Museum, Bored Panda, IFLScience, The Toast, Longform, What Colour Is It.