My Brain Is My Ad Blocker

These days ad blockers are used mostly for improving privacy, security, performance, and resource control.

But, when it comes to their primary purpose of blocking ads and advertising content, I don’t need these tools. I have been using the web since the early 1990s, when the first annoying and disruptive ads started spreading. And I’ve been doing such a deliberate effort to ignore them it eventually became second nature. When I visit a web page, my brain instinctively forces my eyes to tune out any areas with anything resembling advertising content, especially animations.

This avoidance is so effective I don’t notice ads even on the sites I want to support by checking anything to click I’m genuinely interested in. I invariably forget and move to the next site.

Although I don’t have true ad blockers, I do occasionally use a tool for reading pages with highly distracting or disruptive content, including ads.

It’s the Mercury Reader Chrome extension, a reader mode option that reformats a web page to keep only the text and discard most of the rest. It’s handy because I can switch to an uncluttered version of a page by just clicking a button. I look forward to trying the similar reader mode that’s coming to Chrome.

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