I still cut-and-paste links to my articles on Twitter – for the same reason I’ll use a public urinal in a pinch. Some of you may have noticed – seen – the little pop-up that pops up when you go to Twitter. It reads:
You’re in Control
. . . and then proceeds to try to get you to click on either of two buttons:
Turn on personalized ads
Keep less relevant ads
So how “in control” you are?
You get to pick which ads they assault you with!
Once upon a time, ads had copy that read: For more information, call (this was before the Internet). Nothing wrong with that. If you’re interested in finding out details about whatever they’re selling, here’s how to do that.
Today, it is “learn more” – as if getting peddled to buy whatever-they’re-selling had anything to do with learning something. You’re being sales-pitched. Why not say so? I know why. Because it sounds better – in an insipid and treacly way – to imply that by reading a sales pitch you are being edified.
How about “partners”? It sounds very cozy – when it’s all about getting into your wallet. Then there is “associate” – as if you worked in a law firm as opposed to bagging groceries for minimum wage.
I get emails daily from practitioners of this low art, describing themselves as “bloggers” interested in “posting content” on EPautos. What they are, of course, are ad peddlers trying to get me to publish their greasy ads disguised as articles, thinking you’re too stupid to notice the difference and might actually click on the link to whatever they’re trying to sell you but aren’t honest enough to tell you they’re trying to sell you.
I often wonder whether this approach actually works. I assume it must since if it didn’t surely they wouldn’t do it.
As a writer, I have great respect for – affection for – words. Which is also why I get mad when words are violated in this manner.
No, Mr. Twitter, we are not “in control” when given the choice to turn on personalized ads or keep less relevant ads. Being “in control” means having the choice to turn on no ads – and to turn you off. Bye-bye, now.
Maybe I’ll return when you cease pissing down my pants leg and telling me it’s raining.