Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Ad-saturated world can become infuriating

I was reading yesterday that Amazon is planning a new, lower-cost Kindle with something very wonderful: ads.
Oh joy, just what so many of us want: More advertising in our lives.

It’s bad enough getting upsold when you try to buy headphones for your iPhone, with pitches for magazines and extended warranties at the cash register, but now you get more and more ads when you’re trying to read something.

You’re not even safe at home, though sometimes it can be amusing. The “energy-saving” trash have stopped calling my cell phone, but yesterday I got an illegal call from someone (I’m on the do-not-call list) who began to read a script to me over the phone about the “warranty … on your … 2007 … Ford … Mustang.”

Just for fun, I started talking to him in the same monotone voice with gaps between the words so it sounded like I was reading from a script. Then I hung up. I’m such a stinker.

Today, a phone call came in and it started with several seconds of dead air after the click. Autodialers dial lots of numbers, and then if someone answers they bring the telemarketer on the line. But then you get this “Hello?,” “Hello” game, and usually I hang up. This time I stayed on and the guy on the other end told me that he wanted to talk about the PBA (the police union). I hung up because I knew what was coming: a pitch for money. Sorry, I pay taxes and they have plenty of money.

So I decided to head on out to the mailbox to see if anything important arrived. It’s a sign of the decline of the Postal Service that so little of what you get in the mail is of any use or importance. I still get bills in the mail, and I love my magazines, but the overwhelming majority of what I get is advertising.
It’s not the Postal Service’s fault, but almost all the ads I get end up in the nearby trash can after I rip them in half.

Today, I got a pitch for a subscription to Texas Monthly – for something like the 10th time. I got a pitch for a Verizon cell phone – for the 30th time. And a pitch for SuperCuts, so I can get a $12 haircut for $40. All were ripped in half and tossed in the trash.

I dread the days when the REACH mail arrives. This is a loose mass of advertising that gets stuffed in every box.

Everyone throws theirs away as soon as they get it.

Let’s face it, we’re just going to have to relegate advertising to the level of background noise that we cannot avoid, no matter where we are. I guess that’s the price we have to pay for living in the modern world.

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April 12, 2011 - Posted by | Living in the modern age | , , , , ,

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