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Commercial-free

Posted on 6 February 2013

This past weekend, I was staying with my family in a rented cabin. Most of the time is spent out skiing, so it doesn’t feel cramped, but on Sunday afternoon during a rest, the Superbowl was turned on.

I am not one of those people who says they don’t watch TV, because I watch many television shows- far more than movies. But the truth is I don’t watch TV. Not on a television. In fact, the only TV in our house is a hand-me-down one that’s twenty years old that only gets used maybe once a month to play videogames.

When I watch TV shows it’s done on a computer, using Netflix, DVDs or some other streaming service. And what you forget about when you watch TV that way it just how many commercials there are in traditional viewing.

When I was younger, I spent plenty of time watching TV without thinking once about the commercials. They were just there. A fact of life. But now, living a life of “limited commercial interruption” I’ve become used to having one or two ads at the beginning of a video stream and then not being interrupted again for twenty minutes.

So when faced with the number of commercials that exist on live television, it’s disorienting. They keep coming. And they’re loud. Often, they don’t make sense. Again, I am a person who was raised with this sort of thing and is still exposed to  advertising on a regular basis. But the amount being thrown my way while the Superbowl was on was just overwhelming. It’s depressing to think how much time I spent sitting through these things when I was younger.

And I’m not even against ads in any real sense. I understand it’s how you pay the bills, and I think when done right they can be a useful way to learn about products, services, or other goods I might enjoy. Many are entertaining, to the extent that the day after the Superbowl I sat down and watched a few of those “best of the Superbowl” YouTube things that show you all the good ads you miss when you’re in Canada.

So I don’t know. Maybe this is just a sign that I’m getting older and less able to cope with the modern world. But I encourage you to try to cut advertising out of your life, even for a little while. and then see if it feels different when you come back.

Filed under: misc

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