The Monotasking Joy of Single Tab Browsing: On Information Overload, Internet Addiction and Multitasking Based Neurodegenerative Stress

RND// To consider hiding the tabstrip in Firefox as to improve overall brain function and prevent possible long term neurodegeneration. One might call this ‘monobrowsing’ – or simply mindfulness.

– Multitasking is a mere lie, and so are tabs, tabbing, the whole ‘rapidly switching-between’ thing; you are not some schizo-phrenetic logic gate, so stop acting like one.

– The idea of ‘one tab surfing’ occurred to me three years ago; I began asking why I’d cultivated ‘Tabitus’, which got as bad as twenty simultaneous on-screen tabs. Switching between them, closing some while opening others, a mad fool possessed by the myth of progress and the Will To Tech. Gotta catch em’ all!

– Even at first glance, tabbing feels excessive and cluttered. It took me ages to realize the brain itself was in an excited state – that I was the one who was cluttered. Internally confused and agitated by all the shiny, brightly colored digital noise. Welcome to the anxiety industry.

– The Tab is a modern neurosis, a nervous tic – a foot tapping, ball point pen clicking, teeth grinding activity. Existentially (as the mighty Rollins says on the live song Joyriding With Frank) “this is it.” The failure to recognize that is anti-philosophical, and act in bad faith. To open a tab is simply to admit to not clearly see NOW. What is NOW? How would you know if you’re too busy constantly looking elsewhere like an electrified weasel. A stress pot, stuffed with endless, useless buzzing.

– Another term for monobrowsing is ‘wolf style’; focused, heavy, deliberate, consciously directed. The wolf paces quietly and carefully around that which interests it.

– Terminal (/Existential) Boredom often drives one to multitab surfing.

– The insomniac midnight internet surfer and the average smart phone addict with an enlarged thumb share the same, strange high – specifically, that based around dopamine action potential (spike-timing-dependent potentiation) across the synaptic gap; for them the tab is a neuro-psychological ‘near miss’. The tab is the equivalent of the slot machine gambler who says “This is the one, this is the big one that will change my fortunes forever!” It’s never really the thing itself, for itself, but rather merely the adrenal stomach dump just before the leap.

– It’s not that there’s too much information, but that most of it is a load of malignantly useless, utterly vacuous time sucking bullshit that only really benefits the particular System that casually spews it out / pinches it off at an insane rate of knots for mass mindless consumption.

– Information societies are unwell societies; specially, they suffer from Image Sickness. People addicted to multitasking are fighting against themselves, wasting misdirected energy. Much like your standard-hardcore coffee drinkers, smokers, compulsive gum chewers and people who never shut the goddam radio off, the treat of silence, concentration, and concentrated silence appear the most drastic threat to their well being. In fact the opposite is true; multitasking is the brain running around, headless, arbitrarily.

– Clay Shirkey is wrong; the problem isn’t really the lack of filters, or that existing filters need to be improved. Building more and more roads doesn’t help when cars themselves are the realer, deeper problem. Nobody simply stops to look around, sigh, and ask “Why is there so much of this shit in the first place?” There’s absolutely nothing natural about I.T. It’s literally just a unthinking Cultural response that’s been hard-wired in.

– In which there seems the sense that multitasking and multiple tabs (ok, the first page you opened counts as a tab) are at the very least conceptually linked to long term neurodegenerative dis-eases and conditions as Alzheimers and Parkinsons. More research is needed on this – but not an infinite amount more. Just in case, be prudent and act now; recognize and kerb useless information addiction, and kill those tabs.

– The association you should mentally cultivate is that the phrase ‘multitasking’ is really just corporate Bullshit Bingo buzzword for ‘pointless, boring bullshit that nobody should deal with’. “Wired” magazine effectively summarizes the entire problem. Stop being wired. Slap your own face if you have to. Rip the wires ‘Currently’ attached to your brain. Unplug yourself from the machine that hooked itself up to you – largely without your permission – and that sucks out your big data, feeding you nothing but corporate lizard White(boy) Noise.

– Death to tabs! Tabs are living info-undeath. Quit fooling yourself; the grass really isn’t greener over on the next tab and you know it. Take your goddam time. Adopt ‘slow internet’ practices. Allow your roots to re-grow back in the here and now.

– Along with the very mere notion of ‘the Kardashians’, the Hyperlink is arguably the single most neurally destructive invention. One day, the use of Tabs will be seen as gauche as Yahoo Entertainment News.

// how to play big science