[Ed. Note: Article written on computer using AdBlock]
Nobody likes advertisements. They delay the shows we’re trying to watch. They remind us that we have to buy expensive things. They increase our cravings for Frankenstein creations like Whopperitos and Doritos Locos Tacos.
However, they are also necessary for the entertainment industry. From the dawn of magazines and television, entertaining content has been supported by advertising revenue.
Enter AdBlock, the popular web extension for everything from Google Chrome to Firefox. As you can tell from the name, AdBlock essentially gets rid of ads on everything, from your basic news websites to YouTube.
The main argument for AdBlock users seems to be that online advertising has gotten a bit over the top. After all, how often have you gone to a website only to need to close three popups immediately? Or had to scramble to mute the video ad playing in one of your open browser tabs? Or had a flashing popup ad tell you that you’re the one millionth visitor and you’ve won a free iPad?
So AdBlock seems like the sensible response, doesn’t it? Perhaps. But that doesn’t make it right.
The internet is an open space for creativity. Unlike television and movies, the world wide web is a place where content creators can say and do pretty much anything without worrying about anyone pulling their funding. But, without advertisements, content creators can no longer make a living doing something they enjoy while entertaining the fanbase they’ve achieved.
So not only is AdBlock taking away from these creators, they’re also taking away from what makes the internet such a bastion of creativity. Online shows like the Nostalgia Critic and PewDewPie wouldn’t exist without the internet, and definitely wouldn’t be able to produce content without advertising.
I’ve even noticed many online shows and publications having to put ads in the video/article themselves to make up for the loss of revenue. (We’re back to the Howdy Doody days apparently). And, when those people have enough to worry about updating their website content, it just ends up making more work for them.
I understand that using AdBlock is convenient. But so is stealing grapes from the supermarket. (I didn’t mean to turn this into a whole “you wouldn’t download a car” kind of thing). The online community can’t thrive if they don’t make money. And supporting it is as simple as briefly rewatching the same ad for affordable razors for a few seconds before you frantically close it.
Top featured image by Joe The Goat Farmer on Flickr.