Making Opening a New Tab an Activity

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Realistically, we spend a lot of time on the internet. While part of that time is spent on the phone, we’re usually glued to our computers and laptops in some way. Whether that be for doing research for school, googling something for work, or just having a place to watch videos, taking quizzes, or talking to friends online, the internet is as present in our lives as breathing, and it’s easy to end up spending hours on it.

Using the internet often means a buildup of tabs, and you can suddenly find yourself drowning in multitudes of them that you don’t even remember opening. For those who use Google Chrome, there are a number of browser extensions available to add to the internet experience. While some of these can include organizing tabs (and therefore make things a little less clustered and stressful), there are also many that can make opening a new tab something to look forward to doing. Browser extensions to change a new tab’s appearance not only take a break from the dull grey look, but some are purposefully created for stress relief and to briefly ease the mind. It can be a nice surprise when you need to open a new tab in the middle of a long study session, or even serve as a reminder to take a brief pause after spending hours online without a break.

The kinds of extensions are endless, but here are a few that are specifically made to help with stress relief and mental health:

Joy Trigger: This extension features GIFs of cute animals, accompanied with quick tips. What’s better than a reminder to take a quick stretch over a gif of a puppy who is also stretching?

Tabby Cat: While not necessarily for mental health, Tabby Cat follows the animal theme and provides cute animated cats, all differently named and themed, simply being cute each time they show up. They’re almost always smiling, which can of course be contagious.

Delight: By featuring timelapsed videos of nature around the world, this extension is incredibly calming. Think of it like a nature documentary without the music or commentary, but with the same lulling and sleep inducing effect. The imagery is gorgeous, and it’s also a reminder that even when things are tough, the world keeps moving.StockSnap_TB2R3H1H7O

Calm: If you find yourself mindlessly cycling through websites, this tab extension almost serves as a blacklist. However, instead of completely blocking you from the website, you’ll be redirected to a page with a bubble, reminding you to take a breath before proceeding. Here, you can take a moment to decide if you really do want to visit the site again, or even prepare yourself if you know it’s something that will stress you out.


Do you use tab extensions? Do you think that they’d be useful? What other kinds of tab extensions do you think would help with stress relief?

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Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: https://sova.pitt.edu/i-need-help-now We look forward to talking to you!

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