Pebble In Your Shoe

This morning, I visited my favorite news page. Videos started playing automatically in two places on the page. I rolled my eyes in annoyance.

I clicked on the headline of the main news article of the day. Again, on the top there was a frame that showed a video ad. Scenes in the video were changing with such cadence that it was a constant distraction.

The feature of autoplaying videos was introduced at least two months ago on that website. Well, what could I do except to complain about how the internet keeps getting more invasive, right?

Then an unexpected thought came to my mind. What if there was something that could be done about it?

First I tried to suppress it – “I don’t have time for such follies, I have to read the article!” But when I finished reading – and the thought was still there – I said to myself: “Well, why not give it a try?”

I googled: How to stop videos playing in chrome.

First link led me to an article on PC Advisor.


Solution found – 2 easy steps. 1: Paste this into the URL bar. 2: Scroll down to the plug-in section and select Click to play.

Can you guess how long did it take to fix it?

Fifteen seconds.

Isn’t that funny? For two months I was constantly annoyed with something that took only fifteen seconds to fix. The problem was that for the whole two months I didn’t see it as something to be solved.


Three weeks ago, I was out to try my new bike in the Šumava mountains (South Bohemia) for the weekend. I have a cross-bike, which is not the best for off-road. Late in the afternoon, after 60 kilometers, the downhills over stones and roots started being a little bit heavy on my wrists.

Then I remembered – doesn’t this bike actually have a suspension lockout fork?

It did. I reached down and unlocked the fork. Suddenly it was a cushy ride.

Problem solved in three seconds. Only those three seconds could have come 60 kilometers earlier.


Often, we don’t even start solving a problem, because we don’t see it. Maybe we notice it – but we dismiss it. “This is what advertising on the internet looks like now, what can you do.” Or: “Of course it hurts your wrists when you ride a cross-bike in a forest.”

If we take our current situation as a fact, we’ll never be able to find ways for improvement.

So instead of that, what if we kept constantly asking ourselves: “What can I do to get rid of this nuisance / make this work a little better?”

Sometimes, the solution is just a few seconds away – like when you find a pebble in your shoe.


Featured image by e-Magine Art, taken from Flickr, under Creative Commons licence. Brightness of image adjusted, image cropped to fit browser.

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