I Use AdBlock, Maybe You Want To, Too

AdBlockHate them or don’t really care about them, ads online are here to stay (at least for the foreseeable future). This can be a subject that divides and I fall on the side of the coin that chooses to use AdBlock on every site I go to. Here I’ll explain what AdBlock is and let people decide whether or not they think it’s right for them. So, what is AdBlock and how do you get it?

AdBlock is pretty well what the name says: it blocks ads online. It’s a downloadable extension for Firefox and Chrome (maybe IE, but seriously, who knows…people from 2004? Am I right? Slap it up top!). All you have to do to get it is go to their site and download it. It’s that dang simple.

I’ve had AdBlock for the last couple of years, maybe even three years, so I didn’t even know about how invasive ads have become over the last while. I started a new job several months ago where I’m required to go to social media sites as part of my job (amazing job, I know). I can’t believe the amount of ads people put up with on sites they go to every day. Here’s what you won’t have to deal with if you get AdBlock.

1) Facebook ads – sidebar and in your feed

I can’t fathom how people live with ads in their feed. That form of advertising disgusts me. I once had an ad in my feed for Starbucks – WHICH I DON’T EVEN LIKE ON FACEBOOK. Nor have I ever mentioned it in a status because I don’t go to Starbucks. It was in my feed based on one of my friends who “liked” Starbucks. Isn’t that gross? That makes me feel really skeeved out. I’m seeing an ad for something that doesn’t even apply to me personally ON MY OWN FEED only because I have a friend who likes it. And what about those animated ads? What’s up with that? And the ads on the sidebar that work the same way that Starbucks ad works. If a friend likes it or someone even mentions it, you’ll see an ad for it. You might ask how Facebook would make money if everyone turned off ads. Well, for someone like me who’s a Facebook Ultra Lite Slims user, I don’t need ads in my overall experience. Ads should be geared more towards people who actively “like” things and want to see the newest products or specific deals available at their favourite retailer/website. But for me? I’ll take my Facebook ad-free, thank you so much.

2) YouTube ads – pre-video and pop-up

Here’s another one that grosses me out because most times you’re seeing ads for things you don’t even have an interest in. Here in Canada (BC more specifically), the last ad I saw was trying to plug the greatness of oil pipelines. I won’t get into this hot button issue, but just know that I don’t want to watch an ad for that. If you’re in favour of ads, that’s fine. But you have to admit that the ads should be relevant to the video you’re watching. Beauty guru video? Advertise makeup or beauty products. Gaming video? Advertise EB Games or the newest game release. Beyond these ads, there’s also the promotional video before your video. They make you watch a featured video as an ad before the video you want to watch! That’s absurd!  You’re not there to see some Vevo artist of the month’s horrendous video before you watch your favourite Rick Astley music video. Just like with Facebook, these are invasive ads that go from being a bearable nuisance to obnoxious irritants.

3) Ads during videos on player sites

So you missed your favourite show on TV live (yah, in 2010, am I right? Slap it! UP! TOP!) and you want to watch it online. Whether you go straight to the channel that airs the show’s site, or to a streaming site that may or may not be legal, you will no longer have ads before or throughout the video. It’s pretty damn glorious. When I used to have ads during those videos, an hour long TV show might be 48 minutes or so. With no ads at all, that thing’s done within 40 minutes. It’s probably the greatest miracle of technology. 3D printing? Pft. Take a seat. 😛

4) Ads on any site at all (so long AdSense!)

You might see an ad on my site because I didn’t pay the $80 to WordPress to remove all ads (they already got $18 out of me for this domain name, what more do they want? my first born? they’re going to have a long wait). I’m fully down with you using AdBlock on my site. I’m not here to make money or advertise things to you that you don’t need. So even if you just get AdBlock to block my ad, go ahead. That’s totally fine. Beyond my site though, if you DL AdBlock, you won’t see ads on any site. None. No more AdSense top or sidebars that advertise corn medication because you once Googled corns because someone told you they had one and you didn’t want to be insensitive and ask if you could see theirs so you might have image searched corns because you’re sick like that. You might still be having all of your moves online followed, but at least now you get to feel a bit less like they’re watching you because you won’t get ads anymore!

Now to the summary. I use AdBlock because that’s what I want to do. I’m not saying that everyone should use it and screw big corporations (although really, screw them). You might be worried that if you use AdBlock, you won’t be supporting the ad revenue on your favourite indie site. Don’t even worry, because you can turn AdBlock off for specific sites. Or if you really hate those ads, most indie sites have a Donate button or you can contact the site publisher directly and offer financial support (if that’s what you really want to do). I can understand why people support ads – I get it. But I don’t support them in my internet experience, and if you don’t either, here’s a tool you can use. 🙂

As always, I’m open to feedback! What are your feelings on ads? Do you detest them and are feverishly downloading AdBlock right now? Or do you think they’re a necessary evil, or even enjoy them? You just let me know in the comments where you fall on the scale.