As some of you may know, I've been traveling for ~3 weeks now. Taiwan. Hong Kong. Thailand. Sri Lanka.
This means that every time I land at the airport, I get off the airplane, try to beat the crowd, go through customs and immigration, walk through the baggage claim, exchange some USD and whatever money I had leftover from the previous country, and randomly choose from 5-6 kiosks to buy a sim card at.
Then I pay somewhere between $2 and $40 USD and walk away with a SIM Card with 2GB data, ~100 minutes, and ~100 texts. One gave me instructions for refilling data. The rest didn't.
Then I have 2GB of data to last me a week. Which seems like a lot until you realize that, besides Hong Kong, there is not a lot of reliable WiFi at the budget hotels, guesthouses, and hostels we were staying at. That meant every message I sent, every picture I uploaded, and every site I visited, was slowly ticking down the amount of data I had left. And that data was my only lifeline to my mother, my friends, my clients, my airline checkins, my hostel reservations, etc.
So you know what I started doing? I started thinking before I clicked a link. Any link. Hubski link, feedly link, emailed link, everything. Because right now, there is a 50/50 chance that the link I click on will load a page that is a 5mb-500mb monstrosity with full screen, full res images or videos, not lazy loaded, not optimized for mobile, and not giving a shit about how much data they shoot through my phone.
And it's not just trendy web design companies with these sites. NYTimes. Medium. The Verge. Etc. Etc. Maybe I'll get a page with just some motherfucking copy. Maybe I'll just get the content I want. But usually I'll get panels of full screen, high res, non optimized anything. Fuck you. Fuck your huge images. Fuck your laziness for not implementing lazy loading.
You want to know what pushed me over the limit? I found a site that was serving optimized images except it sent me every single fucking version of that fucking image. That's right. It loaded 5 the images of different sizes and resolutions and then displayed the one for my device. For those that don't know, optimizing an image is when you serve different images with different resolutions for different screen sizes. That way I don't make your iPhone display the 4k image that looks good on your 27" Mac Cinema Display.
The point is of course to not have you load a huge image if you are only going to see ~480px on your phone. Hence the name "optimization". Apparently, some people think its so the image will look good? Or maybe they just do it because they read a blog somewhere? I have no fucking idea. But the only thing worse that making me load a 2mb full res image on my iphone is making me load a 100kb, 500kb, 1mb, and 2mb image on my device.
I get that you want your site to look good. I get you want to be trendy. I get that I am just a whiny little girl right now who doesn't want to spend the time / money / energy reloading her sim cards. But OPTIMIZE YOUR GODDAMN SHIT PROPERLY. OR DON'T USE TRENDS THAT WILL BE OUTDATED IN 6-8 MONTHS. I DON'T KNOW HOW THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE...WHO ACTUALLY USE DATA IN 2GB CHUNKS OFF THEIR MOBILE DEVICES 24/7...WHO ACTUALLY DON'T HAVE HIGH SPEED UNLIMITED INTERNET 24/7....SURVIVE WITHOUT GOING BROKE OR CRAZY!
I'm totally guilty of not optimizing as well as I should have. But I also haven't built a site with a fullscreen video background yet. And I know that the next site I built will be motherfucking overly optimized. Just in case some poor bloke with .2mb of data lands on my page by accident. I don't want to be that person who eats up the end of his data on some shit he may or may not have even wanted to see.
Off to the airport again! Hope your new years are off to a great start!