All those open internet browser tabs


gamer picture of a web browser tab

Image: Richy Great/ Unsplash

It’s possible that your stress when using the internet stems from the sheer number of tabs you have open. Okay, at least a portion of it. A survey conducted by students at Finland’s Aalto University (and uncovered by PC Gamer) suggests that internet browser clutter is an issue for the vast majority of users.

What, exactly, is browser chaos? This study, which surveyed 400 people online and conducted 16 in-person interviews, dissects this concept into its component parts, such as the number of tabs that lead to stress and frustration. Included in this principle are such things as page clutter, advertising, and notices that crop up unexpectedly.

However, the study could not find a “sweet spot” for tab counts that mitigated the risk of being overwhelmed. Participants in the study simply indicated whether or not they experienced browser clutter as an issue. (Approximately 57% consider it to be a moderate problem, while over 25% consider it to be a somewhat or big issue. The remaining 18% are unconcerned. Instead, the tab use threshold, or “tab limitation” as it is called in the study, appears to be habitual, as indicated by the responses of study participants. While most people have between three and five windows open at once, there is a wide range from none at all to well over four hundred. (Hello, fellow person who like tabloids.) If you’re getting frustrated with the number of tabs you have open, you’ve probably hit your limit.

Author: Alaina Yee, Senior Editor

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Alaina Yee is PCWorld’s resident deal hunter; when she’s not writing about computers or computer parts, mini-PCs, or anything else, she’s out looking for the finest deals in technology. Once upon a time, her articles could be seen in publications like Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer, IGN, and Maximum PC. Follow @morphingball to see what she’s up to on Twitter.

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