All of the websites I visit are being redesigned to make them utterly useless.
Oh, that’s not what they tell you when you visit. You go to the site, expecting to see the same comforting interface that was there as little as an hour earlier, but instead you are greeted with a welcome screen that blocks your way and promises new features, ease of access, eye-pleasing graphics, greater success with the gender of your choice, wealth beyond measure, calorie-free chocolate, and possibly dancing lessons. When you finally manage to make that screen go away, nothing is where it used to be.
Hell, half of what you’re looking for isn’t there at all.
What is there is a confusing mix of all of the features that you never wanted and didn’t ask for, plus a startling grab bag of new ways for the web site to invade your privacy unless you follow the link (carefully hidden) to the steps (multiple pages long) that will let you opt out until the next time you visit, at which point you will be automatically opted in unless you repeat the process. Using the web site at any point without going through that process constitutes permanent and irrevocable acceptance of the site’s right to cash your paycheck, sleep on your bed, change your pets' food, rearrange your furniture, edit your movie collection, and monitor your every move whether on or off line and don’t even think about trying to hide because now they have drones and you just gave them the right not only to use them but also to arm them with water guns filled with cherry soda, the sickly sweet kind that sticks everywhere and is impossible to wash out. They also have the right to watch you try to wash it out, so smile pretty for the cameras!
The right to move or eliminate the opt-out link is implied simply by the fact that the web site exists at all.
When you add all this together, the technical term for it among computer types is “upgrade.”
Sometimes I am willing to go along with all this. I figure out how to undo as much of the privacy grab as I can and write off the rest. I work out which features remain and how to access them. And I get on with my original plan, which was to drop by the site for a few moments of reading before moving on with my day, such as it was.
But other times the whole thing strikes me as more trouble than it is worth and I delete the bookmark. It’s been years since I’ve looked at some of the sites that upgraded beyond my tolerance.
I am not sure why there is this compulsive need to optimize things that already work perfectly well, but I have long since resigned myself to the insane whims of designers and engineers – there is no escape other than to throw up your hands and ignore whatever new iteration appears for as long as you can.
Eventually everything on the internet will be upgraded to the point of no return and I will have no choice but to go back to reality and stay there.