Friday, October 25, 2013

2099 Watch Me

I do most of my TV watching online these days. I watch very little and what I watch I can usually find on demand. That also means I see commercials differently than cable watchers do. Namely, I know exactly how many commercials are going to run, because it says so in the corner of my screen, so I can walk away and do something else while they're playing.

At least I could until they got smart.

Recently, I've come back to my computer after what I assumed was the expired time for the commercial break and low-and-behold a commercial was stuck in a static screenshot. I had to choose an option to make it continue to play. Tricky... and annoying.

Tricky because now they have a piece of analytic data that tells them I actually saw the commercial. Analytics are what drive the world of internet advertising.  So now that they've forced me to interact with the advertisement, they can tick one off for their team.

Which I kind of resent in a way. I've voluntarily paid the price of watching their pitch, more or less, so that I can watch my content. But now they're forcing me to reveal my computer? It's like the teachers forcing me to dance at the sock hop with someone I tolerate but don't really like. 

And to those who say, "It's not really interacting, you just X'd the darn thing out," I say, who's in charge of the laws of X-ing? Who's to say that when you X out any intrusive pop-up you're really dismissing it utterly from your computer? Maybe you're accepting a cookie. Or authorizing the company to ride along to the next few websites you visit and gather other data about you.

Bottom online: Who's watching them? 

America, ya gotta love it.

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