If You’re Tired Of The Internet Making You Sad, Try Blissify

The free Chrome extension uses facial recognition to block the sites that make you frown

Will this be your path to true happiness? — Blissify
Sep 01, 2016 at 11:51 AM ET

Feel like the time you spend on the internet is bringing you down? If you want to stop yourself from indulging in all the negativity, but don’t possess the self-control to do it yourself, perhaps Blissify is for you. It’s a free chrome extension that promises to keep an eye on your mood and block any site that give you the sads.

Blissify, which is the work of interactive/conceptual artist Alexander Taylor, mostly exists as satirical commentary. But even so, it’s still a very functional project. The extension uses your webcam and a facial-recognition algorithm to assess your state of mind at any given moment. It then matches that up with whatever site you’re looking at, and if you spend too long frowning at a given page, it will block it. You can even assess the impact of your browsing habits over time with a little graph of your emotions. (Hovering over any spot will show you what you were looking at.) If that’s not detailed enough for you, you also get a running commentary in the form of an emoji that sits in your toolbar and reflects your feeling.

While in theory it sounds like an ideal way to protect yourself from becoming a depressed, bitter citizen, in practice it’s not perfect. Given that reading emotions is complicated business, blocking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail isn’t necessarily practical, especially if you rely on them for work.

Still, you can adjust the sensitivity settings and unblock anything you want. and if nothing else, it can serve as a reminder to keep your time in the sad abyss that is the modern news cycle to a minimum and up your daily consumption of cute animal videos. Who knows, maybe it’ll even make you a slightly less miserable person. Maybe. No promises.