Advertisements are Brain-Rape.
I’m not speaking with hyperbole. I am speaking in the most accurate literal term as I can manage. Rape is a crime against humanity. The act of consentless sexual penetration or sexual assault of another person is the definition of rape. The forcing of another to view an advertisement without their consent is equivalent of rape to their brain.
When consuming media, be it internet or video, radio or television, movies or billboards, popups or banners on websites, ads are rape. They rob you of control, and force information that is neither desired or beneficial into your brain. Our society has evolved to permit these assaults on the human consciousness, to take it in stride, but that does not make it right.
When a commercial interrupts television programming, one is still glued to the screen. One still views it with rapt attention. That commercial then pours its poisonous message into the brain, without ever asking or receiving permission from the viewer to do so. One can just look away, but that is no more comfort to me than it is to a victim of sexual assault. “Close your eyes and pretend it is not happening” is not a functional solution.
When browsing content on the internet, a banner ad will rob the user of screen real estate, forcing its way into the window through which one would otherwise consume the desired content. One can sometimes, with some effort, manipulate the shape of the browser window so as not to view the ads, but that is like plugging your ears while a rape happens in the adjacent room. You know it is there, happening, just past the boundary.
When listening to the radio, it overrides the only sense which was consuming the media, and there is not any other indication when its over but to listen to it. One cannot mute the radio and wait it out, as one could with TV. One cannot resize the browser window and disregard the message. One must change channels or turn off the device, and hope when one returns that one has not missed much of what one wanted to hear.
Time is precious. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. No amount of money or power can take one man’s lifetime and bestow it to another. Time is immutable. Everyone moves through it the same. Yet advertisers rob us of time, by interrupting the 22 minutes of a television show with 8 minutes of commercials. For some programs, its even worse. If those were the last 8 minutes of your life, would you want them spent watching ads?