Okay, I’m getting the old bones up on the soapbox again. Look, I don’t mind admitting I’m old. But it’s not as if I’m tech-averse. After all, I worked in IT for most of my life. I’ve designed and built web sites, for
fuck’s goodness sake. But some things get up my nose big time.
GIVE UP WITH THE GIFS ALREADY! Please!
Like many animals, humans are attracted to movement. It’s a primal survival response, hard-wired deep down. So if something moves, you look at it.
Enter the GIF.
It’s a fragment of movement, endlessly repeated, embedded in an online article presumably with the intention of illustrating the author’s wit or cleverness or something. Very often, there’s a succession of these things, interspersed with a (short) paragraph of text. Very often they’re nibbles from movies. Confronted with something like that, I have the following reactions:
- I can’t be bothered waiting for the damn things to load
- I get crossed eyes from trying to read the text between the twitching, repetitive, endless, fucking pictures
- I spend my time playing pick the actress or the movie and that wears off very quickly because I’m not interested in the celebrity cult and I don’t watch many movies.
So I go and do something else. Like pick lint out of my navel or watch paint dry.
The author had something important to say? Sorry, I missed it.
Pant pant pant…
And another thing…
I click on a link to an interesting article. I’m reading through, and halfway down the page, halfway through a fucking sentence – a popup screen appears right over the top of the page I’m reading so I can’t read it anymore. “Hello,” says the popup, “If you enjoyed this article, sign up to our mailing list and get content just like this delivered right to your email address everyday.”
To all you Pratchett fans, it’s a bit like Sam Vimes’s pocket organiser. “Bingly bingly beep” [insert name here].
So OF COURSE I clap my hands in glee and sign up for the mailing list.
No, not actually. I say FUCK OFF and close the popup.
I’ll probably finish reading the article IF it’s very interesting, but the whole episode has caused a serious distraction. Why not just put a paragraph at the end of the article, inviting people to subscribe?
Oh wait… it’s that movement thing again, isn’t it?
Okay, I’m off the soap box. Is it just me, or am I singing with a choir? And is there anything else you HATE? Please… tell me. The soapbox is vacant.