As you might imagine, I spend a bit of time on the Internet. Okay, a lot of time. Entirely too much time. But it’s so interesting! And full of wonderful people (and a few jerks, but what can you do?). At least once a day, I look something up on here, or I hear about a nifty/distressing opinion/ or a funny video, and off I go. So here are some things that irritate me when I’m poking about the web.
1). “Would you like to fill out a survey?” No, I wouldn’t. And I wouldn’t like to fill one out on the next page I look at. Or the one after that. And if I order something, I don’t want to “Tell other people what you think about the Widget you just ordered.” First of all, maybe I don’t want the world knowing that I purchased that particular widget (and Amazon’s “post on social media what you just bought” fills me with irritation). Second, I’m not being paid to review all of this stuff, nor do I want to. Third, as far as I’m concerned, our relationship is over after my credit card payment clears and I have my thingie-mabober. When I buy a bag of chips at the dollar store, I don’t want the cashier showing up at my door with a clipboard.
2. I don’t want an ad overlay blocking the screen. I don’t want it graying out the text I actually came here to read. I don’t want some cutesy commercial doohicky following me as I read. And do not, EVER, have an ad that I can’t close. It’s possible that I will write down the name of the product and spend the rest of my life telling everyone I know about how terrible your product is. I may dedicate the rest of my life to destroying your entire company through word of mouth. Or not. But you don’t know, do you?
3. “Click this button for the next page!” I realize that you are running on ad revenue. I even realize that more clicks = better page views = more money. But to see everything as a “load a whole new page” slideshow will make me leave your site and never come back, no matter how many cute bunnies or tips for better living you have (I prefer the bunnies, by the way). No more than two clicks per story/ feature. I’m warning you. I hold grudges.
4. (This applies to social media and, for some reason, my email). Automatically displaying that I’m online so that people can “chat.” I don’t care how much I like or love someone, I don’t want to be available to chat with them every time I log into something. Maybe I just want to check the shipping date of the widget I just ordered. Maybe I want to concentrate on the thing I’m doing. Maybe I just don’t want to chat. Let ME decide whether or not I want to do that. Don’t assume!
5. “Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter, site, email advertising, spam?” No. “Are you sure? We really like you!” You don’t know me. I could be a terrible person. “We’re sure you’re great. Subscribe?” No! “But we’re lonely!” I’m not. Leave me alone. “But what if you change your mind?” Then, unlikely as that would be, I’d come back and click the button. Sheesh.
6. Alternatively… WordPress has this follow/like system. It works wonderfully well when I find a site/voice that I would indeed like to subscribe to. Until it doesn’t. Where is the follow button? Is it at the top? The bottom of this post? Near the bottom or top? Why is there no like button? I liked this thing, and I think the creator should get some feedback. Hello?
7. Websites that want too much. When I order something, I’m perfectly happy to fill out the form. You can have my address and email (I don’t exactly know why you want my phone number, but fine). But then there are the websites that want…more. “Please enter the name of your child.” I don’t have a child. Why isn’t there a box to indicate that? “Enter name of child! Cannot proceed without Name of Child!” Why are we assuming that everyone has a child in the first place? Second, even if I had one, why do I need to enter his/her name into your site to order a coffee cup? So, if you meet my offspring GoAwayAnd LeaveMeALONE Granger, don’t judge. It’s not her fault.
8. Those ads that follow you around the net like stalkers. Why, yes, I did look at that product. Maybe I wanted to buy it. Maybe I was researching something or it was on sale, but upon reflection, I didn’t really need it. Maybe I was just looking. In any case, that ad is going to follow me around. And if it’s something that I REALLY don’t want the entire world to know about, why that’s going to be there for WEEKS. Thanks!
9. Autoplay. Sigh. No, I don’t want the ad to start blaring music (which is one reason my laptop is muted by default). No, I don’t want to see the next video in line. Stop it. And if youtube needs to play an ad before the video I watch, that’s fine. But can it not be the SAME ONE? Please?
10. Lists that are obviously padded to hit whatever number the writer feels most comfortable at. It’s usually a round number, like 20 or ten. You just couldn’t write a 9 item list, could you? No, it has to be ten, with the last one feeling quite forced and incomplete. Whatever.
So, what are your pet peeves? Tell me in the comments. I promise that I’ll respond!