What Your Default Internet Browser Says About You

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What’s your default internet browser? There are a bunch to choose from, and many people stick with the one that comes with their computers. For Microsoft users, that’s Internet Explorer or Edge, depending on the age of your computer. For Mac users, it’s Safari. But did you know that your default browser says something about you as a person?

There are many internet browsers out there, and they’re pretty recognizable. Internet Explorer, Edge, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are the big ones. I guess they count Opera too, but I’ve never actually seen someone use it.

Your default internet browser tells a story about who you are as a person, and it’s backed by research.

Safari, Internet Explorer, or Edge

These come pre-installed on Macs and PCs. Using these default browsers means you’re okay with the status quo. You probably don’t customize it much, and only use a bare minimum of extensions… If you know what extensions do.

Personal experience with my mother shows me that staying with the default means you don’t really know that better options exist. Or, she doesn’t care. Either way, she wastes time dealing with issues caused by the browser itself.

There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the defaults… It just means you’re not the kind of person who likes to experiment with new things.

And that’s okay. (It’s just not for me. I personally eschew Internet Explorer like the plague.)

Chrome or Firefox

Cornerstone OnDemand conducted research that showed employees who took an online job assessment with a non-default internet browser (like Chrome and Firefox) stayed in their jobs 15% longer and also did better on the assessment. The Chief Analytics Officer at Cornerstone thinks that people who take the time to change their default are “informed consumers.”

What does it mean to be an informed consumer?

To me, it means that you pay attention to when new things arrive on the market. You know about the new iPhone and the next iteration of Smart TVs, though that doesn’t necessarily mean you grab them right away. There’s a big difference between the person who stands in line at Apple to buy the iPhone X when it releases and the person who waltzes in a week later when the lines aren’t a mile long.

Those who install Chrome and Firefox first must know that those browsers exist in the first place and care enough about their performance on the machine to install them at all.

They question the status quo and change things up as soon as they can.

When Do You Adopt Innovation?

The question of changing your default internet browser is related to when you adopt innovation. Most people are either early or late majority in the lopsided bell curve of adopting innovation.

Innovators are the ones creating the new tech and use it first. Early adopters are the beta testers, feedback-givers, and stand in line for release day. Early majority and late majority come next, and then finally the laggards are the last to adopt anything.

In my experience, older people are more likely to be laggards. My mom still uses Internet Explorer as her default internet browser, and someone at my company refuses to store anything in the cloud service we use.

Early adopters and early majority are more likely to also be the ones changing up their defaults.

Changing Your Default Internet Browser is a Mindset

The first thing I do on a new computer is download Chrome. The browser itself stores all my bookmarks and extensions when it’s connected to my Google account. It takes less than five minutes to download, install, and log in.

Now, keep in mind that the simple act of downloading a new browser after reading this does not mean you’ll be a better worker.

The early adopter mindset takes practice and eventually becomes ingrained. When you question the status quo about how things are done, you’ve become the kind of person who will always change your default internet browser whenever you get a new computer.

This mindset is not limited to browsers. It also affects other productivity avenues. I’m an early adopter for most things; I test different note-taking and file storage systems, experiment with project management tools and am actually part of the Smartsheet Early Adopter Program. I even bought the Google Pixel 3XL the day it released.

What’s Your Browser?

Wherever you stand on how you browse the internet, know that it’s your choices that matter in the long run. Switching to Chrome or Firefox won’t make you a better person, but it says something about your personality and how you view the world.

Do you stick with the default, or do you change it up as soon as you get a new machine? I suspect this might be a controversial subject, so I’d love to read some discussion in the comments!

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