WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Pet peeve Wednesday

I have enough pet peeves to be able to gather up 52 of them in a year, so I thought I’d replace my defunct Trump column with Pet Peeve Wednesday. For a while, at least.

Up first is this annoyance: There’s too much video on the internet.

I don’t know how much time in the day you have, but if I’m going to consume several gigabytes of information from dawn to dusk, I don’t have time to watch a bunch of five-minute videos. Even respectable news organizations like The Times are starting to plunk videos on my screen in place of thoughtful articles. And often the video is just a person speaking the words that I would rather have read myself, at my own clip, i.e., faster than she’s reading it. In fact, I’d probably skim the thing, or bail out after two paragraphs. With a video you keep hoping the payoff will be worth the time investment.

Here’s a good example. Want to know how come train tickets are so expensive? I’d like to read about that for about 90 seconds, but instead I’ll have to watch a 12-minute video. No thanks. I don’t care that much why train tickets are so expensive. I care 90 seconds’ worth.

But heck, I’m not such a curmudgeon that I don’t like to indulge now and then in a talking-dog vid or a great musical performance. But Ted Talks? Forget it! I’d rather stare into space for half an hour than watch some guy with a wireless mic headset walking back and forth and telling me I’m doing everything wrong in my life. If he has a good point to make, I prefer to read it and not imagine his annoying hand movements the whole time.

Closely related to internet video are podcasts, which I can’t listen to unless I’m in the car. I can’t read or write while listening to someone talking, and since I work at home I’m seldom in the car. There are millions of hours of podcasts out there begging for my attention, but I can’t do it. Life’s literally too short.

Amazon.com in the distant past

The internet used to be all about reading. A web page used to look like a lot of writing with a picture or two, and we liked it! Now it’s all in your face and flashy. We’re addicted to shiny objects.

Sorry, it’s just a pet peeve of mine: There’s too much video on the internet.

[Top image via.]

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11 comments on “Pet peeve Wednesday

  1. pinklightsabre
    April 12, 2017

    Ah, it’s just easier than reading innit?!

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 12, 2017

      And these days the young people talk funny to my ear, so it’s even worse. They say diddint and stew-dent and Stephanay and …

  2. kingmidget
    April 12, 2017

    Completely agree. Give me an article over talking heads any day.

  3. 1WriteWay
    April 12, 2017

    I love podcasts, but I don’t listen to them in the car. Too distracting listening to a talking head while I’m trying to navigate around the distracted, talking heads in the vehicles around me. I listen to podcasts when I’m walking or housecleaning or washing the cars. But the video thing … god how I hate those pop-up videos on news websites. If I want to watch a video, I’ll go over to YouTube or Vimeo. There’s so much crap on websites these days (especially news websites with all the advertising) that adding videos just adds to the frustration.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 12, 2017

      That’s why I shamelessly use an ad blocker and a plugin called FlashStopper that keeps videos from starting automatically. Bugs the crap out of me!

      • 1WriteWay
        April 12, 2017

        Flashstopper? I’ll have to look into that!

  4. John W. Howell
    April 12, 2017

    What I really hate is when the sum-bitches start automatically and I see from your comment there is a fix for that. I’m with you. Forget the videos. I’ll read what I want at my pace.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 12, 2017

      Yeah, give FlashStopper a try. My life is much better now … 😉

  5. Audrey Driscoll
    April 12, 2017

    Totally agree! Well-meaning bloggers sometimes post videos. Wasted on me. I almost never get around to podcasts or TED talks because there’s too much on radio (Canadian Broadcasting — sort of like NPR) — perfect for washing dishes and fiddly manual tasks. Life is definitely too short. But you’ll notice most of us who agree about this have attained the Age of Wisdom. Those young enough to feel immortal may go ahead and watch.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 13, 2017

      Ah, the Age of Wisdom. Why does that strike me as a double-edged sword? 😉

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