I used an ad blocker for awhile, and the fundamental truth is it made the internet better for me. Videos loaded faster. Concentrating on content was vastly simpler. I never had to hunt for an obtusely placed X when some unwanted slab of advertising scooted across my screen obscuring my view. To be honest, I really want to go back to using an ad blocker.
Ad-blocking isn’t really about money for readers. It’s about barriers. It’s about hassle and distraction and annoyance. Ads are designed to try and get your attention for at least part of the time you spend on a site. Ads are intentionally disruptive to the experience you are having, and because the technology exists to eliminate disruption, it’s no surprise that people chose to use that technology. It’s no different from any other medium: When a commercial comes on when I’m listening to a radio, what do I do? I check if another station is playing a song I like instead. If an ad comes on the TV, I get up and go to the bathroom. Is the fact that I choose not to consume those ads some breach of my responsibility as a viewer or listener? I think not.
Of course, ad-blocking is to websites and content makers what used games are to game publishers. It’s not really arguable that people are stealing the content — though I am willing to bet more than a few people might give it the old college try — but neither are they directing dollars to the content makers. Whatever benefit the reader/viewer gains, the content creator loses.