Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Some Fulfilling Experiences You Can Have Completely Online When You’re Ill or Immobile

by Nancy Baker

Whether you’ve broken a leg, are off with the flu or have permanent disabilities that make it difficult to get out and about,Google Earth being confined to a bed can be an incredibly frustrating and upsetting experience and enough to give you cabin fever after a while. When the sun is out and you’re forced to stay indoors watching re-runs of daytime TV, it can start to feel as though you’re a little disconnected and as though you’re wasting your time when you should be out there experiencing the world.

Thankfully though, this no longer has to be the case quite so much as it once did. While there’s no denying that it’s still incredibly frustrating to be unable to move around as normal, the power of the internet does at least provide us with a window on the world that can help us to seek out some worthwhile experiences and stay a little saner as we pass the time.

And that doesn’t just mean watching cat videos on YouTube either. Actually there are plenty of fulfilling and worthwhile experiences that you can have entirely online that can be just as important and immersive as experiences out there in the real world. Here are some things for you to try out that will demonstrate just how much you can really do entirely online… no moving required!

Planet 4.Org

Planet is an entirely unique website that gives users the opportunity to explore the surface of another planet. Specifically, Planet gives visitors access to thousands of photos of Mars’ surface taken by NASA’s satellites. There are simply too many of these photos for NASA’s team to handle on their own, which is why they have ‘crowdsourced’ the process to members of the public.

In other words then, you’re not just looking over any old pictures of Mars; you’re actually helping NASA by sifting through images that have never been seen before. Your job is to try and identify anything worthy of flagging up, which could include anything from amazing geological formations to vestiges of a bygone civilisation. Exploring uncharted Mars from the comfort of your bed? Now that’s a fulfilling experience!

Google Maps/Earth

Another great experience you can have online is to use Google Maps (or better yet, Google Earth) in order to explore our own planet here on Earth. Google Maps gives you a far more literal window on the world (or a skylight on the world to be more precise) allowing you to view all the world’s landmarks – even to walk down your old street using ‘street view’.

Chat Roulette

Chat Roulette has something of a bad reputation owing to the people who use it for ill ends rather than its intended purpose. However, you shouldn’t let that put you off as it can still provide a lot of very worthwhile experiences. For every user trying it to pull you will meet someone who is genuinely curious to meet new people and have a novel experience, and then you can find yourself discussing matters such as politics, the news, or religion with a complete stranger, or opening yourself up and discussing your feelings under the cloak of anonymity which can be a great way to take a load off your shoulders.

And if you’re still too put off by Chat Roulette’s less than sterling reputation, then there are many other sites that will let you have a similar experience. The ‘Photswap’ app for instance is a great way to get a snapshot of someone else’s life who could be anywhere in the world, while ‘Habbo Hotel’ is also a fun way to meet people, though it’s aimed at a slightly younger audience.


Then again, why chat with strangers when you can call a friend and enjoy a video conversation with someone you don’t see very often? Being immobile will give you the time to keep up with your correspondence, while technology now makes it much more intuitive and personal to do so.


Games might be something that you think of as a distraction or a way to kill some time, but these days some of them offer much deeper experiences than that. Check out the ‘indie game’ scene and you should find plenty of games that explore more artistic concepts and that aim to move you rather than just test your reactions.

And this is just a small selection of the kinds of worthwhile experiences you can have online, so get off those cat videos and ask yourself what you are going to do online today.

About the Author

Nancy Baker is an avid blogger who often writes for Freedom Lift Systems, a company installing lift systems having wheelchair access. She takes great pride in helping people and assists many social service groups in her vicinity.

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