Okay, so one of my personal pet peeves is our noisy culture. I don’t happen to own a pair of noise cancellation headphones because I have trouble justifying the steep cost but I can appreciate the cone of silence they help create. For my money a decent pair of stereo headphones, like the inexpensive ones I am wearing as I write this (and are pictured above), get the job done just fine.
But aside from auditory noise, what I am advocating relief from is advertising noise. It is no secret that we are bombarded by commercial messaging, both online and off. And the antidote to it is intentional action on our part to limit its intrusion and, by extension, its influence in our lives. Cutting it off at the source is crucial to attaining peace of mind and an act as simple as unsubscribing from catalog mailings can make a profound difference.
To corral online commercialism, I strongly suggest installing advertisement blocking software on your computer. I personally use Adblock Plus, a free ad blocker used by millions of people that blocks all annoying ads, and it has revolutionized my browsing experience. And while you are at it, I also suggest using DuckDuckGo as your default search engine because it does not track online activity for marketing purposes.
So, what are the consequences of the commercialization of our country? According to Courtney E. Martin, author of The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream, “Eight out of ten Americans have debt, the most common liability being a mortgage. The average American in debt owes $16,140 on their credit cards, $155,361 on his mortgage, and $31,946 on student loans.” Suffice it to say that it is in our best interest to ignore the cultural call to dwell in debt.
Regular readers of mine know that my goal here is to create an experience conducive to distraction-free enjoyment. So, you all may have noticed that I recently removed the social media buttons from this site, as well as the Comment and Like buttons. And I have always avoided advertising and affiliate marketing on this site, with the result being what one longtime reader called “an oasis of calm amidst the chaos.” Sounds like mission accomplished!