Your search history says a lot about you: your interest (or lack thereof) in current events, your medical symptoms, your Facebook stalking habits. It makes sense that our search histories match our interests, since the Internet is where most people turn for information.
So what do your open tabs tell you? They represent the two extremes of significance.
Option A) The links are so important that you keep them open as reference. You know you’re going to have to come back to them because they’re that relevant. They show what’s on your mind, what you’re stressed about. You need those open to finish a task, to stay sane.
Option B) The links are so insignificant that you keep them open because you keep saying you’ll read them. They’re the things you’re procrastinating, that aren’t valuable enough to print out but constantly attract a teeny amount of your interest to the top of your open browser. You’ll “take care of it tomorrow,” you tell yourself, but you and I both know you won’t.
I have 27 open tabs right now that are somewhere in the middle of those two options. None of them are particularly relevant time-wise, but they definitely show what’s occupying my brain space:
3 pages all entitled “Converting to Judaism.”
They all pretty successfully convinced me that converting to Judaism would be way more work than I’m willing to commit to, even though I’ve recently been fascinated by the Jewish faith and culture.
1 tab with the Autism Awareness club email account and 2 for Project Sunshine.
I’m an officer in two student organizations, and I need to do a few small tasks for each of them to satisfy my positions’ requirements.
3 faculty pages from different universities’ criminal justice programs.
I’m writing an article for my campus magazine about prison food, and I have to research potential interviewees from both near and far. I only have one guaranteed source so far, and my editor requires three. It’s gonna be tough.
1 tab with this post, which I read and loved and couldn’t bring myself to close.
7 tabs about how to become an au pair, 6 about volunteering abroad with children with disabilities, and 3 about a specific internship opportunity to teach ESL and workplace skills in the Dominican Republic that I can’t even apply for until I’m 21 and have a Bachelor’s degree.
Recently I’ve been disenchanted with the idea of a structured semester abroad program, so I’m trying to find a way to do something meaningful in a Spanish-speaking country without other international students to distract me from immersion. At this point it seems impossible, and even though I have plenty of time I feel desperate and stressed out.
1 tab with a blog post called “Open Tabs“ that inspired this post.
Those tabs will all stay open until either I resolve them or I give up on resolving them. I can’t close those tabs until I have closure on the bigger issues they represent. So I’m starting with the last one, since it seems easiest.
One down, twenty-six to go.