The internet is slow and full of garbage.

Disconnect.

I’ve noticed something lately when reading just about anything, other than a few well-designed and sleek blogs (which I aim to do, hence the lack of anything obnoxious): the internet is slow, and it’s not my speed. Not my computer or phone speed, nor my internet speed. My computer, phone, tablet, consoles — all of these things are more powerful than anything I owned back when the web was actually pretty snappy. My internet speed isn’t quite up to snuff for South Korean video-gamers, but the throughput is shockingly high compared to the days of 14.4k dial-up.

This is a complaint I’ve had and will re-iterate every so often. The internet is slow, and lately, full of garbage. Loading almost any site without Javascript blocked results in an outright mess. Some sites, unfortunately, no longer work with it disabled. That is a tragic circumstance but there’s something about my time and choices that means at the end of the day, that site is the loser. I have more entertainment than I have hours to be entertained: between streaming services, a life-time of unplayed or unbeaten video games, books, DVDs/BluRays… and so on and so forth, the competition for my eye-time is pretty harsh.

I blame social media for a lot of the issues, for example:

– Every recipe does not need a short story before giving me the ingredients, accompanied by a picture-per-paragraph of the item being cooked/mixed/served. Especially if they load oddly so I keep having to scroll to keep up with where I am. This is definitely a tragedy caused by sites like Pinterest and Instagram, and the proliferation of better-than-decent cameras. Stop it. When I want a recipe, I want two things: the ingredients and how they’re prepared. Save your story for someone who doesn’t have a job.

– Every news site has a billion social media app trackers in it, and share buttons, and this has to be part of the issue I’m seeing with text-based content lagging worse than video. Seriously, I can load multiple ultra-HD streams in my house at once. I shouldn’t have trouble reading an article on a national newspaper’s website. Each one of these trackers has like three or four sites it is pinging off of, if you break it down when using something like noscript. I don’t enable these.

Another related issue: sites that do still allow comments (I don’t because I don’t want to moderate them) cannot decide which site I need to allow access to in order for comments to load. It used to be nice when it was like, Disqus and their CDN site. Now everyone and their mother runs a comment service.

Also, I get it that I’m being tracked. I see things I search for, or e-mail about, on the advertisements all the time. I’m not stupid, and I get that all of these companies are out to make money. But if you’re so good at tracking me, do I have to have the same buggy, glitchy javascript mess of an ad multiple times on the same page? I have multiple weird and disparate interests. Shake it up a little.

Every time I load a website in a browser that doesn’t block javascript by default, I am tempted to only use Lynx except to access my bank and my own blog. This is getting ridiculous.

Back to news sites: STOP AUTO-PLAYING VIDEO WITH EVERY STORY. Video should never auto-play on any site that is not a video site (ie, YouTube).

Finally, as mentioned, I don’t mind ads, I get it. I try to squash them if they’re annoying, and I avoid sites laden with them. But any website that uses content-covering advertisements that are hard to close (especially VIDEOS!) or open the nasty destination when I hit the X should be shut down immediately and the proprietors should be tried at the Hague. There has to be something in the Geneva Convention about that.

It used to be only shady websites had shady ads. Bootleg porn sites with black backgrounds and bright colors using pop-up and pop-under ads. “WaReZ” sites and their shady ads. Places with illicit and ill-gotten pirated content had no scruples. Now you’re lucky if you don’t have to buy a new computer after visiting CNN or the Washington Post. I cannot imagine what you poor bastards in Windows are running into. I cannot even begin to feel your torment. I’m using Linux almost exclusively and even that is pushing me into becoming a luddite.

Leave a Reply