Published Date: August 24, 2013


Online ads are not my favorite things in the world.

Frankly, it’s not the actual ads themselves that irk me. It’s the bigger dynamic across the web that the ad ecosystem has enabled. Too many people racing to capture people’s time and attention – the most precious asset every single person on earth has – for the wrong reason; just because they can make a buck doing so. Just because you can capture someone’s time, doesn’t mean you should.

The time suck economy.

The result of the time suck economy is a lot of web properties and apps have been built (& more are released everyday) that people don’t find valuable enough to pay for, but hey, if its free, they might as well spend 30 minutes a day with it.

That’s 30 minutes that they will never get back.

It’s no secret people don’t value things that are free. I believe the web would be a better place if everyone had to pay for the information and services they used. You pay for everything in life in either time or money. You can get money back, you can’t get time back (and you’d probably make more $$ if you wasted less time on social media). Would people still spend 3 hours a day on Facebook if they had to pay $.50 per hour? Likely not, they’d go in, get what they need (maybe to message a friend about meeting up), and get out. And their life would be better off, having spent 30 minutes instead of 180 minutes and having those other two and a half hours to spend on something productive.

I know ads work for some people, and are a viable business model at scale. There are extremely valuable services that are made free by ads. Most of those services revolve around transactions such as houses, plane tickets, hotels, investments, etc. I’m not disputing that.

What I’m saying is that ads are being abused for the wrong reasons, and the result is a lot of wasted time on things that would have never existed if customers, rather than advertisers, were required to pay for them.

What are your thoughts on online advertising?

Photo via Media Activism