I wouldn’t have done well in a Communist state, where you could choose any car color so long as it was black. I like variety and choices. But a disturbing trend in the evolution of media and advertising is the shift away from passive advertising to a far more annoying and insistent active advertising.

My daughter got me interested in on-line newspapers, in particular the Huffington Post. The beauty of this form is the immediacy of the content and the interactive opportunity, i.e. people get to comment on stories almost as they’re being written.

Recognizing that nothing’s free, I accept the slew of ads on these internet newspapers in the same way that I accept it in their paper versions. But there is a distinct difference. In the paper version the ads aren’t constantly popping into my face and resisting efforts to “x” them shut. Try clicking on any story in an on-line paper for more details and you’ll see what I mean. Before the story is shown you’ll have to watch some *#^& ad evolve in front of you, with the opportunity to shut it down delayed until the very last microseconds before its completion, i.e. you’ve basically had to watch it all. And sometimes, even if you do get the chance to x it shut before it’s over, it will ask you: “Are you sure you don’t want to know about reducing your mortgage interest?”.

That’s where choice comes in. I like the choice of not having to view an ad if I don’t want to. I definitely hate having ads forced upon me, and it’s seriously becoming a barrier to my continuing use of on-line sites.

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