I understand that the Internet isn’t really free. I understand that the ads on webpages actually help to pay the cost of offering the product. I understand that most people (including me) have gotten extremely good at ignoring the ads – just like we did with newspapers, or like going to the kitchen or bathroom during the ads on television.

I absolutely hate being talked to when I’m surfing the web. I have learned to never, ever click on an ABC News item because it is going to talk to me. It talks loudly and there is no “shut up” button, so it will continue to talk for – well, I don’t know how long because I’ve always just shut down the page before it finished.

I made the mistake once of clicking on the aforementioned ABC News site while I was at work. After one of the bosses asked me, “What was that?” I vowed to never again click on the website either at work or at home. They taught me by using avoidance technique to actually avoid the entire site.

I have all sorts of things on all my computers to help me manage popup ads and pop under ads. They don’t always work. The nicest thing about Windows 7 and Chrome working in concert is that I can close a page without having to ever actually even see it. Great. I don’t have to be offered a chance to buy a Netflix subscription several times a day. This works for me.

I am an early riser. Way too early on some days. I am awake long before my husband even on days when he works and I don’t. I get up and often surf the web first thing in the morning. I look at Facebook and Fark, page through Google news, and then I read Dear Abby and Annie’s Mailbox.

I found places that carry those last two items and bookmarked them. I have been using them for years. Many years. I was happy with this choice right up until Thursday morning.

Last week, I clicked on UClick to read Dear Abby just like I do every day and have been doing for over five years – the thing yelled at me. I thought it was going to wake Dick up since it was talking so loudly in the still house. I quickly killed the page and hesitantly opened it again. Different ad, no noise. It happened again on Thursday. Instead of just killing the page and restarting it in hopes of a quiet ad, I searched for a different hosting site.

Apparently Yahoo will accommodate my needs and I switched my bookmark from loud, intrusive, annoying UClick to simply intrusive and annoying Yahoo.

I’m not sure what advertising genius comes up with some of this stuff. For a time, there were seizure inducing neon colored flashing ads that were bannered across the top of pages. I used to have a cardboard near the computer just in case I needed to shield against such ads. They really did induce a migraine if I watched them for too long and so I made sure I didn’t. (This is the same thing that happens when I’m following a school bus, a mail truck, or some other public service vehicle with those flashing lights. I have no idea how blinding me is supposed to help make the roads safer. I either have to pass them or pull off the road until they are far enough in front of me to not give me a migraine. Nice.)

I know I am not the only person who surfs the web while at work. I know this because I often see people posting on Facebook while they are at work. I’m not sure how they handle the loud, intrusive, and annoying ads. Perhaps they have their speakers on mute, which would work but would be annoying for the times when I, the actual owner and user of the computer, wish to have sound available. I need the little ding to tell me when I have new mail since the bosses often e-mail files with work to do.

Forcing me to have a smaller and smaller bit of the webpage for actual content is annoying, but something I can deal with. I have installed an add-on that lets me just have the text to read without any of the surrounding ads. But it doesn’t shut up the noise.

If someone is trying to induce me to buy something, they really should think of a more pleasant way to do it. Making me so angry I will go out of my way to change a years-long routine probably isn’t helping their cause.

 

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