I admit it. I have ADD and dyslexia, a great combination, that has actually worked in my favor. Why? I take care, when things are important, and, in the process of checking what the words might say, I find all kinds of funny versions; helps my sense of humor.
That was all well and good in the age of reading, and long attention spans. The ADD part started getting to me with animated gifs, crawling bugs on television, and sports arena advertising. (The band of lights that circles the stadium and flashes, that’s my favorite.) I attended an NBA game, an NHL game and several NFL games, and left dazed. The visual and audial pollution was so great, I missed the restart of play several times. I discovered why I prefer to watch on television. The angle of the camera eliminates all the clutter and distractions, except the commercials, which I can control, mute, or click away.
I realize I am like a crow, one shiny piece of tin foil, and I lose whatever focus I have mustered, and shift my attention. It also means that I cannot carry on a conversation and watch television at the same time, and I keep the captions on all the time. Twenty minutes of commercials per hour has driven me to Netflix and Amazon videos. (To binge is so refreshing.) (BTW: I did not want to say “Bing”-ing, hence, “To binge.”)
Naturally, this means I take precautions when I browse the Internet. If the ads would stay still, and the videos would not auto-play, I would be fine; but they don’t. Installed ad and video blockers to save my sanity. Now, the sites are playing a no-win game of, “you can’t watch me with ad blockers on.”
Well, let’s just say, that might work with some people, but I have built up my defensive reflexes to the point that, it takes me two seconds to find another site with the same information. Maybe, the sites I bypass will learn this and not allow advertisers to put annoying distracting stuff on their pages. Maybe, they will find out that auto-play is not what literate people want. We want words in print.
My reaction is the same to the “you must subscribe or do without this knowledge” sites. The days of exclusive data are gone. I read several sources anyway, so these sites are causing me to block them altogether. For example, I block The New York Times, and read the Washington Post. Same stuff from both anyway. Forbes and Business Insider have dropped off my search list as well. I’m sure they miss me.
I really do not care if these sites change or not. I can swerve around obstacles on the Internet just as easily as missing a squirrel running across the road.