Google Chrome is a great web browser. It is also the most popular with 77% of the world logging online with Chrome (1). Sadly, many people don't know that Chrome Extensions exist. If you think of Chrome as a Honda Civic, extensions are phat rims, ground effects, and that brushed nickel spoiler you've been craving. When you add an Extension to Chrome, it extends your browser experience in some way. The ways Extensions change the browser is varied and powerful. From controlling how long you spend on certain sites (Nanny for Google Chrome) to removing all images from the internet (TextMode), once you start adding Extensions, you get a little more control over your experiences online. If you are interested in trying out a new Extension head over to the Chrome Web Store. Once you find an Extension you want to install, go ahead and click "Add to Chrome". Word or warning here: the new Extension only works for new or reloaded tabs.
Three Extensions that I've found useful:
Google Dictionary (by Google) - this Extension adds in dictionary capabilities to your browser. Once installed, anytime you double click on a word, it will open a pop-up bubble containing the word's definition.
BehindTheOverlay - this Extension helps me to karate chop my way through websites that throw up modals on top of the site trying to get me to sign up for a listserve or buy something. When the modal pops up you just click on the BehindTheOverlay icon and poof, the modal is no more.
News Feed Eradicator for Facebook - this Extension removes the news feed from Facebook. Facebook is a lot better this way. No endless, mindless scrolling, but you can still find and message friends or get invited to events on the platform.
I hope this gives some sense of the power of Chrome Extensions to improve your experiences online*. Good luck and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you discover a cool extension I need to know about.
Browser Statistics. (2018). W3schools.com. Retrieved 31 January 2018, from https://www.w3schools.com/browsers/default.asp
* Unfortunately, Chrome Extensions are not compatible with smartphones.