When I’m watching commercial television the programmes often seem to be transmitted with very quiet sound. Because I can hardly hear anything I have to turn the volume up quite a lot. However, when it’s time for the advert breaks they appear to be transmitted with a normal sound level. As I’ve already increased the volume considerably, I end up being deafened by the adverts which are now extremely loud.
Although most conspiracy theories leave me unconvinced, I reckon this difference in the sound levels is a deliberate tactic, so the booming adverts wake people up and get their attention. However, I find this trick so annoying that I usually mute the adverts and end up ignoring them completely. The advertising people reckon they’ve come up with a clever way of shoving their messages right in your face (well, ears), but in my case end up getting nowhere because I just turn the sound off completely.
Advertisers on the Internet also have their ways of annoying people. For a start, some sites are absolutely crammed full of adverts, and you have to look very hard for the content that you actually came to see. On commercial television there are rules about how many advert breaks can be shown in an hour, but on the Internet there are no such limits. If your Internet connection’s not very fast, some web pages can take literally minutes to load because of all the adverts, which is pretty annoying. The worst adverts are the ones that start playing sound or video without asking. However, you can always add an ad-blocker to your web browser to stop a lot of this nonsense.
As usual, the advertisers push people too far and end up losing when those people take action against all the annoyances. Some websites detect if you’re using an ad-blocker and plead with you to switch it off, because advertising’s the only way they make any money. To them I’d simply say, you shouldn’t have overloaded your website with adverts in the first place, because many ad-blockers allow reasonable adverts through and only block the irritating ones. The backlash from users is all your own fault. Some other sites refuse to show you anything interesting until you switch off your ad-blocker. To them I’d say, there’re plenty of other sites on the Internet addressing the subject that I’m interested in, so goodbye and thanks for nothing.
One of the best ad-blockers available is Adblock Plus, which you can easily add to your favourite web browser. Adblock Plus is not a blunt instrument, because while it blocks almost all annoying adverts, it normally allows acceptable adverts that are non-intrusive and don’t get in the way of the content that you want to view. This means that people running reasonable websites can make money by showing some limited advertising, while websites that consist mostly of in-your-face adverts will find their nonsense blocked. You can block all adverts if you like, but if everybody blocks all advertising, a lot of good websites will eventually close because advertising’s their only source of revenue.