Gallery E
The Ad In Our Face
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Tired Of The Constant Ad Barrage

By James Donahue

If you are a regular visitor to this site, you may have noticed that my pages are totally free of advertising messages. You can read the stories without having a promotion for a new car, a political movement, or an invitation to subscribe to the site for permission to read future stories pop up in your face. I don’t ask for donations. I just want visitors to enjoy my work and be free to visit the site whenever they wish.

In my daily surfing of the Internet, however, I find very few, if any sites like my own that are free of some kind of interruption. Some of my once favored sites, that I visited daily to get updated news and commentary, have been all but ruined by the bombardment of pop-up ads that literally take over the stories I am attempting to read. I get so frustrated I have stopped going to these sites.

I gave up watching television programming over a year ago for the same reason. After the Supremes ruled on Citizens United, the political propaganda, even then, was so annoying I decided it wasn’t worth paying for the cable service. I knew it would get worse as the elections drew near. I discovered that better and more balanced news coverage was available on line so I resorted to the Internet to keep abreast of world and local events.

The advertisers, however, have managed to invade the Internet using such sophisticated technology that we find it hard to keep ahead of them. I admit that I shop occasionally on line. But the moment I order a product, I notice that I am besieged by ads for that particular product on just about every site I visit. The advertisements that ring every story, and sometimes interrupt your read in the midst of an interesting article, really annoy me. I am sure it does everybody.

I have had ads pop up and prevent me from reading the story I wanted to read. No matter what I did, I could not get the ad off my screen. Thus I gave up trying to read the story. That is how blatant the advertising has become.

What I find interesting is that once I have purchased a product . . . like a multi-vitamin or perhaps a floral arrangement for someone special . . . I have no plans to buy more of the same. So why flood my read with ads promoting vitamins and flowers?

Frequently when I open a news site, see a story I would like to read, click to open it, only to find that I must first register as a regular subscriber to the particular publication that carries the story. Sometimes it just involves filling out a form to register. Often it involves paying to subscribe. I don’t do either. They all want my e-mail address and I am already flooded with too much mail. Chances are that I will never want to read anything from that publication again anyway, so why subscribe?

Even though the e-mail service I use does a great job of filtering out the junk mail, I still spend time every day sorting out additional crap that slips through the cracks. I can understand why people have turned to Twitter and other information sites to communicate with their friends.

The bottom line to all of this is that we just want to be left alone. We are tired of the constant blast of advertising promotion, usually always for products we don’t need, don’t want, and would never buy in a million years.

With all of this talk about the pros and cons of "Net Neutrality," I have to wonder how much worse the Internet service can get if the FCC agrees to turn control of the Internet over to the big corporations. It will surely mean the end of the Internet as we have enjoyed it, certainly in the United States.

It seems that if big corporations really want us to become consumers again, they would be interested is spreading some of that horded money among the people. When we are living from paycheck to paycheck (or between monthly Social Security and retirement checks) they might understand why we don’t rush out and buy those fancy new cars, or ask our doctor about some new pill that has gone on the market. Even if we thought we might like the product, we can't afford to buy it.

There is an old adage here. Money that is not circulating is useless. It has no value to anybody.