I’m not totally sure when I switched from Firefox to Google Chrome. I feel like it was about the same time that I created my Gmail account, which (going by my archives) seems to be in September of 2008.
So I’ve been on Chrome for ~12 years. I’ve been happy with it up until the last six months or so, as Chrome has grown gradually more unwieldyI have a list of minor interface nitpicks and annoyances that aren’t really worth getting into in this post. Maybe another time. and slow. Also, the reputation of Google has shifted over the last 12 years. Back in 2008, Google was beloved as the force behind some of the internet’s greatest innovations: Google search, YouTube, and Gmail. Here in 2020, people are wary of Google’s eponymous search engine over privacy concerns. YouTube has become a frustrating, unjust, and downright Orwellian platform. And Gmail? I guess Gmail is fine, if we’re okay with it being needlessly and aggressively ugly.
The point is that Google no longer comes across as a hip young company full of idealistic mavericks. These days it feels like a monolithic corporate overlord in a dystopian cyberpunk novel, and every time they show up in the news I feel the need to extricate myself from their ecosystem.
On the performance side, Chrome began driving me crazy a few months ago when individual tabs would hang for several seconds at a time. I ran into this a lot when scrolling media-heavy subreddits. Sometimes the page would stall and the entire Chrome interface – including switching tabs – would become gradually more unresponsive until I restarted it. My computer is pretty beefy, and I’ve never run into these slowdowns before. Performance seems nice and smooth outside of Chrome, which leads me to believe the problem is with Chrome and not the hardware / OS.
So far I’ve avoided moving because it’s such a monumental pain in the ass to change web browsers these days. I keep Firefox around for testing purposes, but I’ve never liked it enough to make it my main. And obviously I’m not interested in Microsoft’s offerings.
But now I’ve jumped to Brave, and I’m not sure what I’ve gotten myself into.
Continue reading 〉〉 “That’s a Brave Idea”