Exploring the net without adblock, part I

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At some point, months or maybe years ago, I got sick of the video adds on a certain website. In order to watch a three minute video i had to wait one minute for the add video to end, no skip button or any other way around it. So, back then, i decided to install adblock on my browser, and since that point I never thought about it, i actually forgot i even used it. Up until i read Phil Towers post on Geek Brain Dump, Ad block – ruining the Internet  . I started thinking a little about his opinion, 0.7% of the worldwide traffic doesn’t seem like a number big enough to actually affect anything. And even if it does, that means that advertisements have to get smarter, they have to stop being annoying. On the other hand, because of one annoying website I have changed my footprint on the internet as a whole. and I don’t feel that is fair.

Somewhere in those thoughts I started thinking about removing adblock, exploring the internet as it really is and then being able to think about it more. Of course, just as I had forgot about having adblock, I forgot about removing it. But then, I lost my laptops power supply, so for a few days I have to use my old netbook instead. I saw it as a challenge to my habits. I formated it, installed Lubuntu instead of Windows 7 Starter, and started my journey. One of the first thing I realized was I didn’t have ad-block.  And I didn’t mind those little banners! Some pop-ups are annoying me, but it’s not that annoying. But when I went to watch a video on youtube, then the problems started… I didn’t mind the 5 seconds I had to wait to skip the add, but on a netbook like mine, those extra five seconds of video meant I actually had to wait about 5 seconds for the video to load, 5 seconds to skip, and another 5 for the video I wanted to see to load. And when youtube was not my only open tab, that time became longer and longer for every tab. Flash is demanding enough on it self, with those adds youtube just make it harder if you don’t use a decent pc.  But then I got even more annoyed, adds would show up on every video. Even if it was only a few seconds, even if it was part of a playlist. And then it went too far… I was watching a video, eleven minutes long, and 4 video adds stopped the video and jumped in.  I don’t even know if that was youtube, the uploader or my netbook going crazy! But I don’t care… It destroyed the video for me. That was the line for me. I installed ad block and went on with my surfing.

But that is not the end of the story.  The lesson I learned is that even surfing the internet has demanding requirements. So for as long as I have to work with a lousy netbook, I don’t want any extra information that will cost me time.  Experiment to be continued…


Anastasios Barianos

Anastasios Barianos is a student in the field of IT, has an interest in a wide spectrum of IT, Computer Science and technology in general, but also in arts and other activities.

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