Misplaced priorities: Why data caps and visual ads are great for consumers

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Your online life has shrunk in recent years Ten years ago, social media mogul Mark Zuckerberg was mocking the originality of rivals. Now, Facebook is facing competition for…

Misplaced priorities: Why data caps and visual ads are great for consumers

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Your online life has shrunk in recent years

Ten years ago, social media mogul Mark Zuckerberg was mocking the originality of rivals. Now, Facebook is facing competition for our attention.

We worry about whether the tech we rely on is improving or becoming worse.

The trend for “diminished” broadband speeds is a sign that we’re going to need more of this new professor’s toolkit.

Find out what it is, below:

Forget about data caps

Shopping and websites are becoming more ubiquitous across platforms.

But now, we’ve entered the age of, “what’s the point?”

When you go to the high street, you want to find the clothes you want in seconds. On a high-speed internet connection, these same websites don’t load in half-a-second. This is caused by extra loaders and delays.

Blocked links

We need the internet to grow if we’re to find new jobs.

But we’re hit by loads of disruptions.

Slow loading times

If you go to Facebook, you have two options to look at the site.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Think twice before sharing ‘unfriending’

The left-hand side, the ‘most recent’ page. The right-hand side is full of ads, social media posts and the suggested posts that this page’s algorithm thinks you might be interested in.

Visual advertising

People might be logging into Facebook as much as they can, but there’s a hidden danger in people leaving images to fill up their in-boxes.

We often see, for example, pictures of cats looking happy and you might wonder how long it’s been since you’ve seen that cat.

The real answer is: nothing at all. The question you need to ask is, are these images posted by a friend? Or, is it a business trying to reach you?

When the business tries to be cute, or you see an embarrassing moment by a stranger, you take that more personally.

You are more likely to tolerate the advertising of a friend, but if you are bombarded by ads, that’s a different story.

Mog services and streaming

You’ve got the ability to turn on a TV these days. You’ve got all the possibility that the internet ever could have in mind.

But, if you look at on-demand services, such as Netflix, you can now have a whole library of content ready to be accessed whenever you want.

Then there are streaming services that allow you to watch, say, The Office on your smartphone, where an equal amount of content will be on a prime time service.

Amazon has shown that millions of people like to buy something when they are bored. They just don’t want to change their preferred game on their television.

Where do I even start?

If you use the internet without becoming annoyed, perhaps it’s because you aren’t using it enough.

The question to ask yourself is: can I limit myself to just a couple of platforms?

If you’re on WhatsApp, for example, do you want to play poker on that app, or do you want to play with your friends using Facebook’s Messenger?

More importantly, do you really want to play a game of poker when you’re just sitting around watching TV?

My Facebook chat is ruining my life

Some social media managers and parents are seeing a grim need to get their kids talking.

If the online chatroom or text conversation monopolises their teenage son’s and daughter’s evenings, they may think of setting up a phone call instead.

Falling back on the phone call would provide an alternative to the TV and tablet, but with a high-speed internet connection, it would also be easier for them to plan a calendar or plan a meeting in real time instead of checking a screen.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Companies are facing a backlash against platforms that don’t give them clear stats

Could they also set up a booth, so the young person could have their own space to come and talk?

Could it be possible to take ideas and statements about life and put them in question form to callers to a BBC radio phone-in?

This new toolkit has a number of ways to improve your internet experience.

It’s online at www.bbc.co.uk/anduk/consultancy/the-new-help-master.

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