Natural Scenery

‘This … needs to be illegal’

Everyone has those days when you need to escape the hustle and bustle of this fast-paced technology-driven world we live in. The only problem is finding a place to escape.

Whether you realize it or not, we are constantly bombarded by advertisements of all shapes and sizes. Whether they’re commercials, clickbait, billboards, signage, texts, emails, phone calls, or old-fashioned snail mail, there’s always that constant whisper of “more.”

In a Reddit forum dedicated to anticonsumerism, one picture post has everyone riled. “This s*** needs to be illegal,” the person titled the post.

Among the beautiful, lush greenery of the trees protrudes a red and yellow eyesore of epic proportions — a McDonald’s sign. Insert all the eye-rolls and boos here.

Photo Credit: RedditPhoto Credit: Reddit

Photo Credit: Reddit

The picture was posted with a caption saying, “The [number] of places we can go to have a nice view without seeing ads is getting rarer by the day.”

Advertising knows no bounds. With over 350,000 billboards across America (according to Statista), they’re the only form of advertising you can’t turn off or look away from. Referred to as the “junk mail of the highway,” they’re not only a visual distraction but a form of visual pollution.

They impact the landscape and use large amounts of electricity. According to different sources, including a New York Times post from 2010, digital billboards, which operate LEDs 24/7, consume twice (per a critical industry article) or possibly up to 30 times the energy of an average American home.

Light pollution is another factor putting this form of advertising into question, and it’s not just about how far out of the city you have to go to see the stars at night.

Nature is calming and statistically proven to reduce stress. There’s already enough trash along the highway. It’s no wonder people are constantly searching for a true getaway.

One Reddit commenter agreed and marveled, “It’s so refreshing driving through fields, farms, and mountains without bright, colorful, lit-up advertisements dotting the landscape.”

Only four states have maintained laws banning billboards: Hawaii, Alaska, Maine, and Vermont. Two other states — Rhode Island and Oregon — have billboard limits, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Otherwise, depending on city or county rules, billboards can take up at least some of the visual space.

One user commented about the McDonald’s sign, “Something unsettling about it.”

“Feels apocalyptic,” said another.

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