Are You Suffering From the Too Many Browser Tabs Syndrome? It's Not Just You

 How many tabs are open on your browser right now? Go ahead and count them. The number may be embarrassing to admit, but you're not alone in the struggle. In your mind, every tab contains something important. Maybe it has information to help with a future project, or perhaps it's just something you want to read later. No matter the excuse, you have too many tabs open, and your brain may be to blame.

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Humans and Multitasking Don't Mix

Opening a ton of browser tabs slows down your computer, and it can slow down your brain, too. Although you may think you're a pro at multitasking, that's really not the case. Unlike a handy online notebook, your mind can't comprehend and organize all those tabs at once. Instead, tab-overload leaves you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.

Humans mistakenly believe they are multitasking masters. However, the brain works in a much different way than previously thought. Even though you may be able to create the illusion that you're working on several things at once, you're really just quickly switching from one task to the next. Those addicted to the idea of multitasking end up overloading their brain, and many even perform worse on cognitive tests.

Why Do You Keep Opening Tabs?

If human multitasking is a myth, why do so many people keep opening more and more browser tabs? Boredom may play a role. Having constant access to technology makes people feel as if they need to be doing something at all times. As a person begins one project, they may feel the urge to immediately work on someone else. Unfortunately, this often leads to starting too many things without truly finishing anything.

Others may open more tabs to make sure they stay in the social loop. Internet FOMO (fear of missing out) is very much alive and well. It's the reason people check their email every 30 minutes, and it also explains why users continually refresh their Facebook and Twitter profiles. After all, no one wants to be the last person to hear about the latest news and gossip. In many instances, FOMO leads to unwanted anxiety, but you may be able to avoid it by closing some of those tabs.

It's important to note that there are times when it's necessary to open several browser tabs. For example, if a student is writing a term paper, they may have several research sources open at once. Doing so lets them easily gather and compare the information they need to complete the project. However, if the same student tries to write essays for multiple classes at once, having too many browser tabs open will only slow them down.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Tabs?

While you may feel accomplished for having a ton of browser tabs open, they're really not doing you any good. Instead of focusing on the project at hand, the extra tabs will just end up short-circuiting your brain. Information is power, but consuming it in an unorganized fashion can leave you feeling stressed out.

What's the best solution? Close all those extra tabs, and avoid jumping from one task to the next. Instead, focus on a single thing at a time before you start browsing the internet for your next project. You'll retain the information better, and your computer will also run faster than ever before.


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