There are a lot of things I find annoying in our world of today. But many of my top ten have to do with the Internet.
I believe that somewhere, there is an entire room filled with techno-wizards who labor long hours to come up with aggravating tricks to force us to notice ads and, hopefully, buy the featured product.
One common trick is to throw up a full page ad on your screen and then, after a short delay, have a miniscule X appear that must be used to close it. They also move the X to different corners, forcing you to hunt for it. In the top right hand corner, where you’d normally expect the X to be, is a tiny arrow that apparently means, “Although I originally clicked a news headline, what I actually wanted to read was a full-page infomercial about a garlic press.”
A recent advance in irritating ad presentation is to throw up an ad which blocks your view of whatever item you’ve started to read. It then goes away only after you click the ”X” several times. The absolute worst was one I encountered that moved around the page when you tried to close it—diabolical … but admittedly clever.
Or how about those sequences designed to have you accidentally open an ad through the use of misleading arrows? Say you’ve clicked on an Internet link which portends to feature the top 10 Hollywood actresses with the biggest … brains. You click on it and it takes you to a screen which takes about an hour and a half to load.
After reading the first page, you want to see the second starlet but are confronted by 47 different shaped arrows, all pointing to really annoying ads. Finally, if you scroll down and hold the ctrl button while hitting the “X” and “Y” keys simultaneously, another arrow comes up which will, in fact, move you forward in the featured article.
Another trick you might also have discovered is after looking for an item using Google or Amazon, you’re suddenly besieged by ads for similar items. Just a little annoying, especially if you were shopping for your wife and she later sees your Facebook newsfeed, thereby ruining your surprise to buy her a really enormous fake diamond. Of course, I guess it could be worse. Like if a guy were planning a Bruce Jenner move, and subsequently his wife saw ads for removing a particular part of the male anatomy on his computer.
I really hate it when I see what appears to be a legitimate story in my news feed and eagerly share it with my buddies, only to have some buzz-kill friend shoot me a Snopes link revealing that the story was established as false years ago.
Another pet peeve of mine is when I’m researching a product that I’m interested in buying on the Internet, I often get a bunch of reviews without dates, so I don’t know if the review was for this year’s product or one from before Al Gore invented the Internet.
And I can’t be the only one who has trouble reading and entering those strings of letters and numbers arranged randomly in different typeface to establish that I’m not a robot.
But I have gained a great deal of financial advice from Internet such as:
- The stock market will either continue unabated or will crash and investors will lose everything.
- Either Gold is where smart investors need to be, or the Chinese will soon dump their reserves, causing prices to plummet.
- The dollar is perfectly positioned to either soar in value this year, or to be devalued and worthless.
Having gleaned this advice, the best investment strategy is clear: my money is headed for the mattress.
Disclaimer: Frank Wilem is an author, speaker, and all around funny and entertaining guy. On this blog, his stories are based on his real life experiences, often with a satirical twist.
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