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Too many Ads: How NOT to spend your time Online

19 Feb,2022 06:30 PM, by: Pooja Dasgupta
3 minute read Total views: 363
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‘Here’s a radical new way to change your life’ - is the kind of statements that put me on ‘alert’ mode while reading up anything on some product these days. I’m not saying they are wrong; it really could be a radical new way of life. But perhaps, claiming exactly how good your product is just not good enough for me to believe in what you’re saying.

I’ve become so numb - is a great track to listen to, but is also what happens when you are surrounded with too many brands hitting you with their presence every single day. And truth be told, the phase we’re all in, is such that nobody is backing down anytime sooner before they achieve their goal of winning your attention for a very, very long time (please continue reading).


Please walk away from all that gibberish noise you keep hearing on social media, news portals, billboards and all the flying pamphlets that cross your path. You have no obligation to entertain each and every brand that are trying to persuade you.

There’s a good chance you’re hooked to online content consumption. You can’t imagine a day without your cell sorry, smartphone. And it’s exactly what marketers all over the world are betting on - your addiction to your screen.

Changing content on Social Media

When we logged in for the first time online (Orkut, anyone?), it was to connect with friends, acquaintance, and new like-minded people. There was a thrill of connecting online because we could see what our friends were up to without directly speaking to them or meeting them.

Now think of present times. Chances are your Facebook feed is bombarded with sponsored ads and scripted content more than authentic updates from your friends. In Instagram, we are hooked to following cool influencers and meme accounts.

YouTube still hasn’t compromised their content but it definitely is super annoying to sit through multiple ads embedded in one single video. I’m personally sad about this one.

There is too much (too much!) going on. From incredible stuff to silly stuff, we see them all. It’s only natural that our consumption pattern over the years have evolved so radically that any more ‘radical new way of life’ is simply not needed.

Refining our virtual experience

Like I said, we have no obligation to listen to brands popping up from all corners of your screen. It’s kind of satisfying to directly dismiss a popup as as soon as it hits the screen anyway.
Now, coming to what you can do about maintaining a rich virtual experience that accounts only the kind of content you wish to see, there are a number of things you can try. Here’s how I refine my virtual experience –
1. Limit Facebook to only checking for eventful updates from friends and family.
2. Spend time more on LinkedIn (connect with people who share their professional experiences and not just job opportunities)

3. Follow original content creators on Instagram (and friends, of course)
4. Subscribe to paid streaming apps such as iTunes, Netflix, etc.
5. Read books on Kindle, Google Books; articles on Medium.
6. Check out recipes and food vlogs on YouTube; sometimes leave music streaming in the background.
7. Use WhatsApp to connect and not to ‘forward’ unnecessary messages.

This is not an exhaustive list of how I navigate my virtual experience but it pretty much captures the gist.

I’m aware, I still receive a lot of ads from the platforms I spend time in. But I consciously spend more time on platforms where I’m a paid member so that the gibberish noise is less.

How does that help with countless brands trying to get your attention?

Brands are easily available in platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, because it is too easy for them to just open up accounts and start promoting their stuff. So, the lesser time you spend on these platforms, more relief from the scripted chatter.
When you pay for the content you watch, the platforms take care of the quality you get. So, you tune out the ads by stepping up your online experience. In the end, you’ll be left with finite advertisements and your peace of mind.
As for how should you go about managing your time online, aim for minimizing the time spent online. Trust me, there’s nothing to lose if you don’t know what meme is trending currently.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

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