Splitting the Web
by Ploum on 2023-08-01
There’s an increasing chasm dividing the modern web. On one side, the commercial, monopolies-riddled, media-adored web. A web which has only one objective: making us click. It measures clicks, optimises clicks, generates clicks. It gathers as much information as it could about us and spams every second of our life with ads, beep, notifications, vibrations, blinking LEDs, background music and fluorescent titles.
A web which boils down to Idiocracy in a Blade Runner landscape, a complete cyberpunk dystopia.
Between those two extremes, the gap is widening. You have to choose your camp. When browsing on the "normal web", it is increasingly required to disable at least part of your antifeatures-blockers to access content.
Something strange is happening: it’s not only a part of the web which is disappearing for me. As I’m blocking completely google analytics, every Facebook domain and any analytics I can, I’m also disappearing for them. I don’t see them and they don’t see me!
Think about it! That whole "MBA, designers and marketers web" is now optimised thanks to analytics describing people who don’t block analytics (and bots pretending to be those people). Each day, I feel more disconnected from that part of the web.
When really needed, dealing with those websites is so nerve breaking that I often resort to… a phone call or a simple email. I signed my mobile phone contract by exchanging emails with a real person because the signup was not working. I phone to book hotels when it is not straightforward to do it in the web interface or if creating an account is required. I hate talking on the phone but it saves me a lot of time and stress. I also walk or cycle to stores instead of ordering online. Which allows me to get advice and to exchange defective items without dealing with the post office.
Maybe the web is not dying. Maybe the web is only splitting itself in two.
You know that famous "dark web" that journalists crave to write about? (at my request, one journalist once told me what "dark web" meant to him and it was "websites not easily accessible through a Google search".) Well, sometimes I feel like I’m part of that "dark web". Not to buy drugs or hire hitmen. No! It’s only to have a place where I can have discussions without being spied and interrupted by ads.
But, increasingly, I feel less and less like an outsider.
It’s not me. It’s people living for and by advertising who are the outsiders. They are the one destroying everything they touch, including the planet. They are the sick psychos and I don’t want them in my life anymore. Are we splitting from those click-conversion-funnel-obsessed weirdos? Good riddance! Have fun with them.
But if you want to jump ship, now is the time to get back to the simple web. Welcome back aboard!
- Traduction en français par Nicolas Vivant
- Traducción Española de JavierSam
- تُرجم النص للعربية من قِبل: يونس بن عمارة