Thursday, 19 December 2013
Chasing Crabby Old Lady Away From the Internet
Crabby Old Lady is spending less and less time online. That ought to be a good thing but it is not.
There are many useful websites Crabby likes that supply her with good information for her blog and her life, let her manage financial accounts, shop for herself and others, find interesting entertainment, etc. But the majority of them have, in recent years, made their sites impossible to use – and it seems to have gotten much worse during 2013. Among the aggravations:
• Autoplay blasting music
• Autoplay commercials
• Irritating moving gifs
• Advertising that slides in from the sides over the story text
• Pop-up boxes that hide the X to close them
• Two or three pop-ups in instant succession
• Any pop-ups at all
Then there are the gigantic images that drop down from the top of the screen over the words Crabby is already reading. The New York Times is a frequent but not the only offender of this particular annoyance.
As Crabby desperately tries to hang on to the thought she was just reading, the damned image sits there and after too long, zooms up to the top and she can't find the place where she was reading.
The home page of TheAtlantic (and others) jumps through a succession of photos illustrating headlines before Crabby has time to read the accompanying headline. She usually just leaves the site.
And she quit Huffington Post altogether several months ago. Somehow their techies missed the basic internet101 class that teaches how to code so that the site updates in the background instead of reloading the page when it updates.
Crabby long ago lost track of how many HuffPo headlines she was about to click that disappeared when the page finished reloading.
What the operators of annoying, irritating and badly designed websites don't seem to understand is that with the exception of a few specific writers a reader likes or a user's own bank, for example, none of them – not a single site – has a monopoly on what their website provides.
Be it news items, music, retail items, books or, actually, anything at all available online, one way or another it can always be found somewhere else online too. Crabby has recently changed her surfing habits to take that into account; if anything on any website is really worth knowing, it will appear elsewhere.
Crabby has come to believe the irritations and annoyances have been rotting her brain.
It cannot possibly be good for anyone to be subjected to constant interruptions and distractions with extraneous music, jerky movement from all sides of the screen, pop-ups and other kinds of images interrupting reading and, most important, thought.
Crabby Old lady gets jumpy as the web distractions pile up during her time online. Sometimes she can't make herself finish reading even short, two- or three-paragraph stories. Too often, she lets it go with just headline reading. And that needs to stop.
Getting old is hard enough on an elder's mind. Even without a threat of dementia, it is normal for an elder to sometimes forget why she walked into the bedroom. For some, sleep interruptions leave them fuzzy headed in the morning. And it takes more effort to make new memories in old age.
So the last thing Crabby Old Lady needs at her age is anything that compromises the functioning of her mind. What that means now is a dramatic cutback in web time.
Crabby feels bad about this. The internet held such promise but it is becoming so degraded now, it is almost useless. (And Crabby hasn't even mentioned how awful – even illiterate – the writing increasingly is even on some of the most respected sites. )
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Johna Ferguson: From China Today