Erin Everhart / Technology / April 23rd, 2012

Fact: Web Geeks Like Opening Tabs

I got some serious crap from my friends this weekend. We were hanging out enjoying Sunday evening coffee, each clicking away on our respective laptops in an attempt to do something productive to rationalize an otherwise non-work related weekend. I was the only one who worked in the tech industry — GASP! Yes, I have non web, SEO and marketing friends (but after this post I might not). When I came back from getting a refill, I walked headfirst into a rocket fire of ridicule for my computer screen which looked something like this: “Um seriously Erin?” “I’ve never seen so many tabs open in my life.” “What the hell is your problem?” “Are you on drugs?” Those were just some of the remarks coming from them at my influx of open tabs. I felt like I was in an episode of Intervention. “Erin, we’re really worried about you. You have too many tabs open, and it’s starting to negatively affect my life.” So, in an effort to confirm that I am, in fact, not crazy, I polled others in the web industry to see just how many tabs they have open at any given time of the day. The results:

This doesn’t prove much except that maybe we all have a little bit of a problem, but it did make me realize that we web geeks love our tabs. We love them so much we can’t get enough of them. My tabs are my To Do list. Whether it’s a site that needs valuing, a link request that needs completed, or a guest blog post that needs pitching/writing, my tabs let me know what’s left on my plate. Plus, I have four different Chrome profiles, each of which comes with its own list of things to do. I’m also paranoid that I’ll never find the site again so until I get to, that bad boy stays open. Consider it organized chaos for the multitasker scatter-brained. All you non Web people just wouldn’t understand. How many tabs do you have open at any given time? Are you one of us or one of them? And if you are one of us, what’s your diagnosis for tab overload? Any cool extensions for keeping track of them all?

  • PeterV – CMO

    I assume, in a survey like this, the only people that would answer would be the people with a "problem," as you put it. I am aware of the sickness, as my wife has inflicted our home computer. Here's something to consider…more tabs can slow your down. ansonalex [dot] com/technology/do-browser-tabs-slow-down-your-computer/

  • Geoff

    The more tabs you have open, the more likely you are to crash your computer and lose all of the important info you were trying to save by keeping it open in a tab. When that happens, you can never remember what sites you were on or what reminder you were trying to give yourself by having a certain website open. So the fewer tabs the better for me!

  • Charles

    Generally I have anywhere from 4-5 open tabs depending on whether or not I'm working on a web project or not. That usually entails having multiple browsers open at the same time as well. For instance, Chrome, FF, IE9, and Safari. Among these I'll probably have 2-4 tabs open in FF, maybe 2 in Chrome. My room mate who isn't a web tech person at all (fairly computer illiterate actually) usually has 6-10 open tabs at any given point that I look at the monitor. If I'm working on a different project, video, sound, graphic or illustration will determine how many tabs or browsers I have open as well. This is also the reason I have a dual monitor set up. If I could afford it I would be running 4 monitors. The number or tabs I have open are usually directly related to the level of efficiency and speed with which I'm trying to accomplish something, and workflow requirements based on the project.