10 Major Internet Irritations

I was checking Yahoo mail the other day, and those dancing, jiggling blue men advertising insurance or God knows what irritated me so much I thought I'd scream. I started to wonder how many Net users were like me: annoyed at times to the point of thinking Internet advertising is the spawn of Satan. Don't you just wish you could clobber the person who put that on the Web or at least punch out the image?

I started making a mental list of Internet Annoyances - things like the maniacal blue silhouettes. Pretty soon I decided to see if there were others as irked as I about these things.

Of course there were. Some people have started blogs and created websites about their pet grievances. Here's what someone thinks are the 10 Most Irritating Words on the Web.

Sanchit Mittal has a blog listing what he finds Most Irritating and asks you to add to his list.

For David Louis Edelman Gmail is his bugaboo. I don't use Gmail much, for the same reasons he cites.

Now, I'm not really focused on individual words, although a few like folksonomy would probably be on my list of banned words, especially after I had to do some intensive research on the subject of folksonomy in order to write intelligently about it. Here's my list, in no particular order.

Email & Web Nuisances

1. Smiley faces that wink and dance around when you're trying to read an email.

2. Any use of the word BLOOK, meaning a book based on a blog.

3. People who write web content who know neither basic grammar nor have the ability to spell correctly. Needless to say, they also lack the common sense to have their written content proofread and corrected by someone who does know punctuation and spelling.

4. Websites that bombard you with music when you visit them. Now, I'm a music lover of just about every genre, but I cringe when I visit an author's site for the first time and a big band version of "Sentimental Journey" or some New Age non-music blares at me. If you want music on your site, put a button where the visitor can click to hear, not click to turn the ear-splitting whatever off.

5. Websites with a Flash intro where you have to click to enter the site. These portals may seem moody or artsy to you, but most Web denizens hate doorway sites. Plus, web crawlers won't visit so you'll rank low in PageRank, not what you want.

6. Animation on a web page. People use animation to draw attention to something or to demo or to entertain. Unfortunately, most animation is irritating in the extreme. Who wants to try to read with something blinking on and off fast enough to cause a grand mal seizure? Whether the animation is a klutzy cartoony gif or a sophisticated piece of Flash, get rid of it.

7. Pop up ads. Thankfully, pop up blockers are usually effective but some still slip by.

8. Pop over ads make me want to scream. That's what you call those that have certain words underlined in an article so if you mouse over them, the ad springs up. I hate trying to read an article with those nuisances popping up to obscure the text at every line. I'm sure most are like me and just move on rather than staying to read.

9. Pop overs that instantly start some video clip playing. Not only does it bog your machine down, but also it's usually not something you came to the site for in the first place, so you move on.

10. Registration sites where you have to mouse select and click the state. Why can't they all just let you type in the 2 letter state abbreviation?

Okay, that's my list. At least for today. What's on your top 10 hate list?


  1. My list overlaps yours almost completely. Hate entry pages (but will forgive if it's because of age requirements). MUSIC is probably my #1 peeve, which is why I don't roam MySpace. Fancy fonts, dancing images, videos that open without my permission, clutter, and ... white font on black background. Absolutely cannot read those unless they're very big. Probably my astigmatism or something, but any light on dark will probably have me navigating away a lot sooner than dark on light.

    At RWA last year, a well-respected author gave a workshop including internet promotion. He stressed that the internet should be a place where people get information, not entertainment. I agree.

  2. Terry, you mentioned one I left off - white text on black background! I simply hate that. Must start another list now.

  3. Music is the thing that irritates me the most. Especially since I'm usually listening to my OWN music at the time my speakers get hijacked. Usually, rather than hunt for a 'music off' button, I just click the back button... and find a quieter website.

  4. Hey, Clair! Thanks for visiting. So you teach A school huh? Tough chick like your alter ego?

  5. Your list is very comprehensive, but I also don't like sites with so much content on each page that it involves lengthy sifting to find what I am looking for. I went to a site recently, can't recall which one, and couldn't find a "contact" page or link or anything to send an e-mail. If a person has a site related to business, you would think there would be easy access to contact e-mail.

  6. I hate most of the same stuff you do. Sound on a web page drives me nuts.

    I'm not trying to advertise, but I use Mozilla Firefox with several plugins, one of the most useful being NoScript and Adblock Plus, and they can do away with most of the scripts, pop-ups and videos you don't want. With NoScript, you can set it to only allow scripts on the sites you want. It saves me a lot of trouble.

    I also hate sites that state (often in a pop-up) that they're "graphic-intensive" but "worth the wait." I no longer use dial-up, but it's still a headache for me if a page is crowded with images (usually including animated ones). When even high-speed takes 30 or more seconds to download a page, it's not worth it! When the page looks junky, it's not worth it! And when my time is wasted, it's definitely not worth it!

  7. Ok, I admit it: I rushed. I'm trying to get a bunch of things done and hopped over here from Lee Goldberg's blog after seeing a comment by you on the "When a Wanna-Be Publisher Becomes a Scammer" post.

    I should have said, "...two of the most useful [Firefox plug-ins] are..."

    I bow my head in shame.

  8. Hey, no head-bowing allowed here! I'm with you, Jen, about the "worth the wait" admonitions. I've never seen a page yet that was worth the wait.

    As to Mozilla, I love those people. They have the best browser and some of the best plug-ins. I'm surprised that more people don't use them.

  9. I use Mozilla, too. My son and daughter who are both computer and Web gurus HATE Internet Explorer and most things Microsoft. They use Unix. I haven't completely converted to their way, but they are slowly winning me over. :-)

  10. I absolutely hate music on sites--it's a huge irritant and makes me leave immediately, but an even bigger one is that graphic that talks to you...not sure what it's called, but the head pops up and starts talking and I immediately leave the site. I use Mozilla for most of my browsing--and I agree with every single thing on your list!

  11. Kate, thanks! Without a doubt, music is the #1 irritant based on all the emails I received. I'm amazed so many sites still have it. Those video pops make me exit asap too.

  12. This was very helpful. I think I'll be spending some time 'round these parts indulging in a bit of reading.

    thank you

  13. Hey, Donna, thanks for visiting SlingWords. Be seeing you on your blog. Joan