Alright here we go, this is my recipe for a life as advertising free as realistically possible in the year 2013 in the US!
1. Subscribe to Netflix streaming.
We all like to sit on the couch and be entertained. Some think it’s a waste of time, but I disagree; relaxation is as important as hard work in our pursuit of happiness, and video is an awesome medium. The problem anno 2013 is that business has long found our exact point of weakness, where MAXIMUM manipulation takes place. In that vulnerable place in your own home, your heart wide open because of that touching movie, you are perfectly primed to receive the message: “Buy this and all will be well!”
If you’re willing to not see all the newest stuff (most of which is really not that good anyway), Netflix is an awesome universe of video. From great TV shows, to excellent documentaries, movies from all over the world to stand-up comedy, there’s something for everybody, never even a single commercial!
2. Use an ad-blocker for your browser.
I know Steve told you everything Apple makes is perfect, but you’re fooling yourself. Get Firefox on that computer and use ad-block plus. Not only won’t your brain spin from all the distractions of colorful ads, your browsing will speed up tremendously. Here’s yet another reasons why Android is superior to iOS: there’s a system wide AdBlock app that blocks unwanted stuff!
3. Throw away ALL junk mail.
Most people already do this, and it’s blows my mind that we still waste that much paper on it. It must mean that it still works, somehow, somewhere. Somebody is actually going through those Clipper ‘magazines’ and getting a deal. The only way we can stop it, and it isn’t unrealistic, is by collectively ignoring it.
4. Don’t watch TV, unless you absolutely must, but mute the commercials.
I get it, some things are must see TV. If you’re curious about “The Voice” and want to watch the finale live, I understand. You’ll be amazed how much peace you’ll find by muting the sound when ads come on. It’s very simple and very effective. It allows your brain to check out, but you can still see when the show is back on.
5. Don’t frequent places filled with ads.
This is the hardest one, but here’s what I mean: some places are hornets’ nests of advertising, and by not visiting them, you can avoid a lot! Think about Sports Bars; competitive action is only a part of what’s displayed on all those TVs. Even with the sound off, you’re gonna be bombarded all night by company logos, seeping into your sub-conscience . Some restaurants in these crazy parts have ads for real-estate brokers in the menu! Stay away! Tourist traps like the monstrosity that is L.A. Live are filled with displays telling you to buy that latest Samsung phone…..don’t go there!
Now in closing, I want to talk about TV for one more second. I enjoy the medium very much, as I have from when I was a child. There are some mainstream shows I watch and I admit I download them, commercial free. I still pay for broadcast basic cable (about $20 a month) so I feel like I’m contributing somewhat to the makers, but I realize that their paid for with advertising dollars and if everyone did what I do, there wouldn’t be enough revenue. My hope is that in the near future, media companies can set up a system in which we can just buy individual shows for a reasonable price, ad-free. When you divide a certain shows revenue by the number of viewers, you realize that $1 per show per viewer direct-pay would net them a lot more. If RedBox can rent you a DVD for a day for $1, why in the world can’t we stream an old one for that? I think we as consumers can force this issue by simply being smart about our consumption……we will see……..