My browser recently received, unbidden, a thing called Text Enhance. On every single webpage various words would be ‘enhanced’ into hover links for pop-up spam ads. Very quickly, it started driving me mad.
As Text Enhance says: these “links are designed to create meaningful relationships between advertisers and consumers.” As everyone else says: ‘These links are super-annoying, intrusive and shitty. Double fuck you, Text Enhance.”
It took me a while to find the link to ‘opt-out’, and so I’m finally spam-free again. But I’m not over the experience of all that scuzzy invasiveness. The worst part of the whole thing, is the futility.
I mean, does this actually work? Is this a money-making business model – for advertiser or Text Enhance? Does anyone ever ‘opt-in’ for this service: to have random garbage pop up on their webpages? Surely not. And yet, still it exists.
And what’s next, where does this end? Are we going to start having ads pop up onscreen in the middle of TV shows and movies? Will I get stopped in the street by people shouting things like “If you’re reading that newspaper, then you must want to win an iPad!”
But I was especially irritated by the suggestion that the ‘text’ was somehow ‘enhanced’ by the addition of ads; that imprecise use of language really rankled me.
But then I looked up the definition for enhance (“to raise the value or price of”), and I thought, well, I suppose technically that applies. You win the denotation round.
But you still represent everything horrible and base and annoying and useless and unwanted about advertising, and are the lowest form of bottom-feeding, filthy internet life.
So yeah, we’re finally finished, and my web browsing has been considerably enhanced since I’ve managed to free myself.