So you’re bored of the life advice the Internet is dishing out – like 10 signs to dump the girl/boyfriend – and want to see beyond yourself.
The posts your friends share either make the world seem like a deceptively happy place, or full of shocking injustice. Yet, other than stirring up some intense emotions, these sites leave you none the wiser about the complex causal factors of such occurrences.
Thankfully, there is an increasing number of sites dedicated to giving you the full picture on crucial social issues – warts and all. To understand the world for what it is, here are some sites to check out:
A joint project by photographer Stefen Chow and economist Lin Hui-Yi, The Poverty Line features photographs of the amounts of food you could purchase daily with an income at the poverty line, with 20 countries documented thus far. What’s especially informative is the interactive global map to compare the amounts of food and draw your own conclusions on the extent of global hunger.
As part of a joke, we often hear people being described as having “OCD” or “split personality”. Yet, what is it truly like to live with such conditions? Animated Minds puts you in the shoes of people with mental health difficulties through its collection of animated short films based on real-life testimonies. A BAFTA, among several awards, stands testimony to the professional quality and meaningful social impact of the films.
Think statistics is boring? Stats guru Hans Rosling is set to change your mind with his pet project, Gapminder. Check out the addictive Gapminder World chart, where you can play around with the axes to uncover important trends from income inequality to the spread of HIV. Each country appears as a coloured blob to help you process the information, and a time-lapse option reveals changes over time. The rest of the site is also stocked with fun videos and articles to keep you occupied for hours.
US drone attacks on Pakistan rarely make the headlines, and the number of fatalities remain conveniently out of sight, out of mind. Appalled by this lack of public awareness, design firm Pitch Interactive innovated this digital visualisation of all the people who have died in the drone attacks since 2004. Organised as a time series, this interactive infographic will set you thinking on the effectiveness of the drone attacks.
Departing from traditional news, Narratively shines the spotlight on the under-represented, emphasising the human aspect of every story, whether from the viewpoint of a bullied child or an international spy. The nature of the story also dictates whether it is presented in longform, cartoons, or even videos. Each week brings a new theme and a treasure trove of content that will open your eyes to the harsh and beautiful realities of the world.
The news has a tendency to focus on violent protests and uprisings while ignoring peaceful efforts for change. Waging Nonviolence provides a refreshing change with its focus on nonviolent struggles for justice and equality around the globe, through the lens of the activists themselves. Featuring original reports and insightful opinion pieces, this citizen is a must-read for those passionate about human rights causes.
7. The Arctic
While we may think of the Arctic as an uninhabitable, hostile region, this site provides a whole new perspective – The Far North as a place brimming in biodiversity and holding much potential if we make the effort to protect it from the threat of climate change. Explore the maps and learn fun facts about the geography of the Arctic. Or you can even go a step further and read more about the social, economic, and political situation of this unique region.