I hate what the internet has become


I do realize that there are many good things about the internet, our lives depend on it, sometime quite literally. But, there are also many things that can be fixed. This post is mostly a rant about things I hate about the internet and what I'm doing to fix it.

(pssst, if you want to read more of my content, send me an email or follow me on social media)

What is the problem

To demonstrage the problem just have a look at this short video:

Hide/Showgifs showing a bloated website, with ads, popups, etc.

As soon as you open the website you are faced with popups, ads, irrelevant auto-playing videos, distracting gifs and permission requests. All of this while you're trying to read the main article, assuming you want to read what fastcompany publishes :D

And this only shows the surface of the problem, what's happening behind the scene is worse. While you are trying to navigate the mine field of ads and GDPR-Consent form anti-patterns, the website is capturing every bit of your data. While I think there's a place for product analytics, many websites go way beyond that.

So, what am I doing about it?

I think we can all relate to the problem, after all everyone can point to a few websites they hate. So what do we do to alleviate the problem?

The following is a non-exhaustive list of possible solutions:

Disable JavaScript by default

This one is a bit ironic for me since, over the years, I've built many things that require JavaScript to function (my current project Hiku Dev is no exception). But this is also by far the best thing you can do to improve privacy, security and readablity of the web.

On most browsers you have the option to disable JavaScript for all sites. Then once in a while a site doesn't function and you can decide to enable JS for that particular website. However, even after enabling JavaScript for some websites, they still might not function properly. This happens often for websites using an iframe that is referencing another website. Then you need to enable JS for that website too, and down the iframe rabbit hole you go.

All of this might sound like too much work but to me it's worth the trouble. Not only it makes browsing text based websites faster and more enjoying to read but also it has security and privacy benefits (it might even be good for your health :D). If a site can not execute JavaScript, then it can not spy on you or steal your information. Some information is still collected via the server having access to your IP address, though.

You will also be surprised by how many websites actually just work better without JS enabled. What's more surprising to me is that some websites clearly don't need JS to function and yet they force you to enable it just so you can read an article.

Consider medium.com as one of the worst offenders, not only they force you to enable JS, but as soon as you do that, they, some how, manage to consume all the resources on your computer, just to show you an article ¯\(ツ)

Use adBlocking browser extensions

This one is a simple thing to do and it mostly works without issues (at least until Manifest V3 is enforced later this year). The only down side is that you have to trust the browser extension creators with every page you visit. I use Ghostry but there are others that are equally good.

Block all third-party cookies

This is also a very simple option that is available on most browsers. It can cause problem for some websites, but it's rare.

Use a VPN with AdGuard enabled

I run my own VPN with AdGuard installed, this provides adblocking to devices that don't support browser extensions, since the ads are blocked at the DNS level. But this doesn't help much with privacy if all of your requests are coming from the same IP. You can use Tor for that, but that is too much to ask even for me.

Build a browser extension

I built a browser extension a few years ago, to remove annoying elements from websites. I never published it. But now, since Hiku Dev supports building browser extensions, I decided to recreate and publish this extension. It's called Edward Scissorhands ;)

Here's a quick demo:

Hide/Showgifs showing Edward Scissorhands browser extension

More features to come:

  • Add customizable reader mode
  • Reach out to me if you have suggestions


Even though I believe the internet is a net positive for the world, there's plenty to dislike about it. Let's hope, this could still change in the future.

So there you have it. These are "all" a so-called tech savy person need to do to keep their sanity while browsing the internet. I really do hate what the internet has become.