I used to assume everyone browsed Just Like Me, until a friend recoiled in horror from the sight of my stuffed browser. Apparently not everyone works or plays online with roughly 20,000 tabs open. How do you do it?
While that's a (mild) exaggeration, I just counted and I generally have between 10-20 tabs open, never less, far often more. I'm not about to claim that it's not occasionally confusing, but I've managed pretty well throughout a decade of working online.
In fact, I find my mass of tabs comforting — I'll often open one not to use immediately but as a reminder to read something later that I couldn't get to in the day. I know myself, and if I bookmark the thing and close the window, I won't return. The lifecycle of the internet is too fast. So instead of overwhelming, a ton of open tabs feels like endless possibility to me, like something cool already lined up a click away.
Gizmodo staff appears to be split between chaos-dwelling tab addicts like me and the obverse — people with thoughtfully organised systems and regulated workflows. I also learned from my colleagues that one can have many tabs open but still have a method to their madness, with tricks like prioritising left or right tabs, organising them by topic, or breaking up browser windows by task — one for research and writing, say, the other for sites that are almost always open (Soundcloud, social media). This was pretty much a revelation to me, and I'm going to try it out to see how it feels to be an organised person for one day of the year.
How do you browse? Do you need a clean, neat canvas on which to stretch your worldwide web, or are you comforted by a multitude of tabular possibilities? Show us a screenshot if you're feeling adventurous. Do you prefer a dozen tabs or does the thought make you cringe? Do you have a system? Can you teach me?
Picture: Wikimedia Commons