I’ve made a decision.
I would pay a monthly subscription to use my favorite apps if I never had to see another sponsored ad again. Look, I have worked in some branch of marketing and advertising for over a decade. I understand the practicality of ads in order to make money and as a former app-maker, I want to see those people succeed. If the dollars don’t come from the advertisers, they come from the user base and to be really lucrative (and not prohibitively expensive) sometimes apps need to sell ads. It makes sense.
But, recently, I’ve been overwhelmed by how depressing it is to be a woman on Facebook and Instagram. Maybe it’s the same for men, too. I don’t know. But apparently, survey says, we don’t need products that make our lives better, we need products that make us better.
Try this makeup. Try this weight loss potion. This tummy-slimming torture suit. Is your bra wrong? Probably is. How about your tampons? Why are they not organic? Big mistake. Honestly, wouldn’t you rather just bleed into your clothes? (Lookin’ at you, Thinx.)
Here! Buy these workout clothes. We have two sizes: Olsen Twin and 5XL. Shape your butt this way. Sculpt your boy brow that way. This suction cup gets rid of cellulite. This sticker gets rid of stretch marks. Are your lashes magnetized? They should be. Whiten your skin with laser teeth removal! (That can’t be right.)
Oh! Here’s a product you looked at on Amazon.com, literally, two minutes ago. It might still be open in another browser, you should check. And in case you forgot, this item is sitting in your abandoned cart at Red Bubble. But think twice, that decorative wall art makes you look fat.
Ok. You win. I’m the worst.
And the next thing you know, you’re buying miracle drugs off websites that look like CNN and USA Today, except than the URL reads www.gooddealz4u.com/notascam and none of the links in the navigation work. All this when what you really logged in to do was watch aerial views of your favorite dessert recipes being assembled—videos tailor made for your shrinking attention span—and wish your cousin’s cat a happy birthday.
I’ve made a decision and it’s back to schoolyard bully dynamics for me. I will pay you, App Overlords, to keep the advertisers away from me. Take my lunch money. Just make them leave me alone.