Grrrrrr I just HATE that

posted in: Life and things | 19

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.


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 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.

19 Responses

  1. Sessha Batto

    I cannot remember the last time I saw a bit on a website I go to . . .I must be lucky 😉 and I agree, I despise pop-ups . . .which is why I use a pop-up blocker. I never see any of them!

  2. Nya Rawlyns

    I agree 1000%. At the end, after I liked & shared, there was a pop-up thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Arlene Valle

    Fear not, you are NOT alone. I hate all that stuff too. The older I get it seems the less free time I have and the shorter my patience.
    I get emails from BH&G and when I try to read an article a popup screen appears with no option to close! Makes me very angry. That is when I close the article and delete the email immediately. If advertisers only knew how much we just ignore at any risk.
    When was the last time you checked out a review on GoodReads? Some reviewers feel the necessity to include a Gif for every paragraph they write. Annoying as HELL !!!!! The internet now has more ‘commercials’ than actual articles!!! AND don’t get me started on how everyone seems to know what you looked at or just purchased on a website seemingly unrelated to your facebook page…… Thank you. I think. lol

    • Greta

      Goodreads was one of the sites I had in mind. It’s such an uncomfortable mix (IMO). Either let me read your opinion, or show me pictures. Not both.

      And yeah, popups.

  4. Rachel Leigh Smith

    I appreciate a well-used GIF. Problem? Most people don’t know how to use them.

    But pop-ups? THEY’RE FROM THE PIT OF HELL!! The deepest part of it. Most of the time when my reading gets obscured by a pop-up, I don’t even finish the article. I flat out refuse to ever use them on my website. I don’t care if some marketing guru has numbers saying they produce higher conversion rates for newsletter signups. I prefer the lower numbers and not being a hypocrite.

    • Greta

      I can bear a well-used GIF. But it’s like everything else – moderation, pullease.

      I have no idea how marketing gurus imagine that using popups is wise. I don’t know anyone who signed up on that basis.

  5. Pippa Jay

    Hate, hate, HATE those popups. Especially as I generally surf on my phone these days and it’s much harder to close the damn things. GIFs – I like some. I’d like to be able to make them, though I’d probably restrict to using them on Tumblr where they’re a huge part of the fandom culture. I’d have pages full of Warm Bodies ones. 😛

    • Greta

      Warm Bodies? (sorry, leaves me cold (haha)) Never heard of it/them.

      Is it interesting? Everybody HATES popups yet the marketing elves say they’re a good idea. Hmmm

  6. Merry

    I’m 100% with you, Greta! I agree about kids *needing* extra visual stimulation. After all, they get plenty of it just interacting with their friends on the multitude of devices they all own, so they must need mega doses to attract – or is that distract?! – their attention! As for the popups…grrrrrr! I (perhaps irrationally) get really annoyed by unnecessary mouse clicks! I’m quite often to be heard saying (seriously) “f**k off” to my computer screen. Needless to say, it takes no notice :sigh:.

    • Greta

      I say “fuck off” at my computer, too. The machine doesn’t care, but I think it’s cathartic.

  7. charlotte

    Cant stand them, automatic switch off for me unless I am fascinated. And I hate that it asks you to sign up for the email list when you are already on it.What about those webpages you get directed to that ask if you are sure when you try desperately to shut them down-ahhh, dont get me started!

  8. Leiah

    Oh, I am jumping up and down in my chair and filming it… (NOT really). Those sorts of things make me scream and Immediately Close The Whole Page. If I want the freakin’ article badly enough, I will find it elsewhere on the flippin’ web and those people can go pound sand.

    As Mona says, Up YOURS, Idiot Media People1

    As far as kids go, I remember an accountant friend of mine not allowing his kids anywhere near a television – the flickering supposedly screws up the wiring in kids brains in a bad way. Maybe that is why so many kids are indeed screwed up in a bad way these days — all that fickering, flashing and idiocy their poor little brains are subjected to???

    • Greta

      Well, TV programs are presented differently these days. (Digital) But yeah, kids seem to need movement. Very NOT Zen.

  9. MonaKarel

    You are lead soprano, dear! I effing HATE the effing gifs of television characters I barely recognize doing stupid things over and over and over. ARRGGHH
    And NO, as a matter of fact I do NOT want to hear an ad for any damned thing while I’m trying to find that teaser article you promise.
    So up yours, idiot media people.
    Thank you for the soap box

  10. Sabine Priestley

    You’re not the only one, Greta. I’m ok with the occational well placed GIF, but it stops there. Most tumbler posts make me insane. My kids love all that motion, but like you I can’t deal with it. So yeah, I don’t do Tumbler. And the pop up boxes? Don’t even get me started. It is fascinating to consider that kids brains are being rewired to process things differently. Maybe it’s not bad. The tech version of Elvis grinding his hips?

    • Greta

      Well, I’m glad it’s not just me. I hear what you’re saying about kids. Maybe they NEED the movement to attract their attention.

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