Saving Myself from Myself

Do you have a bookmark you just mindlessly click all the time? I have at least one of those, and I found a way to make sure I really want to go to the site. I turned the bookmark into a bookmarklet with a JavaScript confirm before it loads. Now whenever I click a problem bookmark, I get a simple prompt: Are You Sure? If I really want to go to the site I click OK. If I was mindlessly clicking out of habit, Cancel.

If you too would like to create a time-saving mindful bookmarklet, here's how it works. Go in and edit any problem bookmark. Say for the sake of argument it's a bookmark for this URL:

Add a tiny bit of JavaScript to the beginning and end of the URL, like this:

javascript:if(confirm('Are You Sure?')){document.location='';}

Save, and done. I'm tempted to write a Greasemonkey script to add this prompt to every link on the web because that simple barrier to entry is helping me break free from my mindless skinner box. And JavaScript prompts are less painful than classic operant conditioning with electric shocks.
« Previous post / Next post »


I wonder if putting a random trigger in that might be more effective than firing it every time. That way you don't train yourself to automatically click "OK" the same way you've trained yourself to click the bookmark. (My mindless bookmark is Techmeme, but is slowly migrating to FriendFeed)
That's a good point. If you could control the location of JavaScript prompts you could at least throw it up in a new spot each time, but that's not an option. It's working now but I might have to mix things up again in a while.
Just use MeeTimer:
Hi! You're reading a single post on a weblog by Paul Bausch where I share recommended links, my photos, and occasional thoughts.

Search Results

No emoji found