The Internet is the ultimate time-waster. It's where we can unwittingly spend hours scrolling through Twitter, watching "related" videos on YouTube, or
stalking checking up on dozens of old high-school classmates on Facebook.
That's not the Internet's fault, because it's pretty good at measuring the time we're wasting: Twitter timelines are covered with timestamps, and YouTube videos show their lengths. Even those old friends we revisit on Facebook remind us that we're time traveling in a way.
It's really our own fault we get temporally lost on the Internet—which is perhaps why we've also cluttered a corner of it with countdown clocks. Here's one that lets you name your event, one that can set an alarm, another that acts like an egg timer, and many, many more.
But those are, frankly, booooooring. Counting down hours, minutes, and seconds on the Internet should be cool, with a dash of creativity. So, as the year comes to an end, try some of these clocks made with true Internet spirit. Welcome the new year by counting down...
The concept behind The Color Clock is simple: The clock matches up the hour, minute, and second with the corresponding color hex value, from #000000 to #235959. The background then mesmerizingly changes to match the time. (There are other variations of this clock here and here.) Instead of counting "5, 4, 3, 2, 1," you could count "jungle green, darker jungle green, dark blue-green, darker blue-green, black."
The project All The Minutes does for time and tweets what Christian Marclay did for time and films. In its carousel format, All The Minutes pulls tweets that mention the exact minute, streams them onto the site, and adds a tick-tock sound as they roll in. It effectively becomes a 24-hour clock made of both random tweets and of largely the same content: Users tweet often about being late, being hungry, and being grumpy.
...In Photos Around the World
Similarly, The Human Clock rotates user-submitted photos that depict the hour and minute in different ways. Some photos have people holding up cardboard signs showing the time, while others have clocks in the background. The oddball submissions tend to have the subject spelling out the numbers using different objects, like playing cards or dollar bills. The clock changes every minute, and, according to its creator Craig Giffen, currently has 22,052 images available from users around the world.
Time In Words, which rewrites the time using sentences, is for the literary enthusiast (or the unnecessarily verbose). The clock translates 1:51 p.m., for example, to become "It's just after ten to two." That doesn't tell you the exact time, but when coupled with a pleasant background image (you can choose different themes—I stuck with the dandelion, above), it makes for a zen countdown experience.
...In Draining Numbers
Time whiles away in front of your eyes with timedrain, one of many clocks by reddit user misterjoker. In it, a blue bar lowers as time passes in hours, minutes, and seconds. It's the most straightforward of these clocks, but it's also the most unsettling, because it both shows and wastes time. Just like the Internet.