3 min read

What's the best tab you have open?

A sketch of a window with translucent curtains looking out on a wrought iron balcony with a large green plant
A Window Seen Through A Window by Theodore Roussel

One of the best corners of the internet ecosystem is the proliferation of webcams streaming some sweetly innocuous thing, like nesting birds or the incoming tide. When I was at Dev Bootcamp learning to code, I often kept a kitten livestream open next to the program I was working on, and would absentmindedly stare at them napping or wrestling as my brain spun around whatever problem I was trying to solve. The appeal of these streams is simple and perhaps universal: the chance to see something else, somewhere else, in this same moment. Escapism in its purest form.

My favorite version of this is WindowSwap, which allows you to see out of someone else’s window, somewhere in the world, every time you refresh the page. I like the playfulness here with browser windows as physical windows, and I love the underlying idea of seeing through someone else’s eyes, in all their mundane glory. You don’t see the people whose windows you’re looking through; only what they see. You can imagine for yourself who they might be and what they might think of the view.

I felt similarly sorting through the responses to my question, “Of the browser tabs you currently have open, which is the best?” Like WindowSwap for browser windows instead of physical ones, I got to see a snapshot of what you’re looking at right now — French television reviews, Google searches for animated movie characters, the Farmer’s Almanac planting calendar for Chicago. Some provided context for why you felt that tab was the best; many did not. I loved not having any idea why you were reading about Fomorians, and I loved knowing that this cocktail recipe reminded you “of the magic of cocktail bars and also the delight of being able to create some small sparks of that same magic at home. Somehow drinking out of a coupe glass makes everything feel a bit shinier.” Agreed!

Below is a collection of the best tabs you had open when I asked you, grouped by theme and embroidered with my own commentary. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your internet with me!

For next time, I’d love to know: What's a dream you have for this year? (Plus a bonus question: what’s your favorite year that you've experienced?)






Don’t forget to answer next issue’s question!