Every time I open my Gmail email inbox I am reminded of how many email’s I have not opened, how many I plan on writing and how many were caught in Google’s spam filter by a little notification counter next to each folder.  When I see these numbers I have to click on them to see what I have missed since my last visit. I cannot stand those numbers being high because it means that I have forgotten to respond to someone or take action on a task.

These unread counts also appear in various other contexts’ such as in RSS readers and even in Facebook.  Every time I would log onto Facebook the unread counts next to my messages, and groups and applications I had to click on them similar to my email inbox. My feelings of guilt and that I am missing out on something carried over from my email inbox unread count to those on Facebook or my RSS reader. This would mean that every time I logged onto Facebook I would spend hours clicking those unread counts just to make them disappear.

I felt that this was a ridiculous waste of time, and I started to visit Facebook less often so I wouldn’t have to deal with that tiny counter as often. I then realized that as a programmer I could come up with a quick solution to hide those counts and hopefully remove the guilt entirely. I installed Stylebot a Google Chrome extension and added a new CSS rule to remove these pestering counters.

.uiSideNavCount {
    display: none;

As soon as I enabled this CSS rule I noticed that I started to spend less time on Facebook but my overall experience on the site changed. Previously visiting Facebook  while intended to be a distraction from work, became a bore because I had to get rid of each of the unread counters, now my visits to Facebook are shorter by I am much happier because I feel I can stop browsing any time I wish to.