I know you don’t believe me, dear reader, but I’m writing this from the great beyond. I need to warn you about the dangers of push notifications. Sure, these bubbles popping up all over your phone seem innocent, but be warned that they’re out to get you… just like they were out to get me.
I used to be on my smartphone all day long, just like each of you, avoiding eye contact with strangers while reading trashy clickbait articles from George Takei’s Facebook feed. Little did I know that my life would change instantly one day… the day I got so many push notifications they literally pushed me over a cliff and I died.
I know it’s hard to believe that my push notifications literally absconded off my phone screen, bundled themselves together and pushed me off a 2,000-meter edge. But I assure you, all you need to do is look at the string of notifications notifying me that some creeper went back in time and liked 50 of my old Facebook photos to know that this is A CONSPIRACY.
The problem, my friend, is that marketers looooooooove push notifications. The look at open rates and track activity from people who use them and say, “This is a good thing!” instead of the listening to all the people shouting “Holy fucking shit I swear I checked all of my notifications like six times, WHY THE FUCK is this red dot still showing on my phone!??”
Long before the mass adoption of the smartphones, push notifications were actually… nice! I only had a handful of apps on my phone, so it was kind of cool to know when someone liked a Facebook post I thoughtfully crafted while sitting on the toilet.
But these notifications just kept pushing, and eventually, no one could keep them contained! Like you, I lived my life surrounded by flashing phones and beeping sounds, to the point where I one day I had so many red notification dots on my phone it made my eyes bleed.
I’d still be alive if my phone didn’t feel the need to tell me that two of the people I follow on Twitter liked a tweet from someone I’ve never heard of who definitely got his blue check from buying followers on Fiverr. As one of the not-blue-checker-havers of the world, I can tell you that ANYONE can be the victim of getting so many push notifications that they band together to push you so hard you stumble and fall from unfathomable heights.
Yes, I know I could go into every single app and turn off push notifications. But Facebook alone has no fewer than seventy thousand options for mobile notifications and emails on Facebook. Now, if you put that in perspective and realize I have eleventy dozen apps on my phone, you can do the math (which, in case you’re wondering, is sixty bajillion push notifications I have to turn off).
But more importantly, WHAT IF ONE OF THEM IS THE ONE THAT’S ACTUALLY REALLY FUCKING IMPORTANT? “Sorry I missed your message that you’re pregnant with an alien demon baby. I had to sift through 39,999 other push notifications today.” For the record, about 9,999 of them were notifying me about cute animals gifs on Imgur.
Once you’ve realized you’ve gotten 20 push notifications and not one of them is actually a comment or like from someone you know, it really changes you. What’s going on in this world when no one loves you but Facebook wants you to make a slideshow composed of the photos you took of a couch you‘re considering buying from Ikea?
Facebook, I don’t care that someone in my neighborhood is selling something in your marketplace. I live in Brooklyn. If I got a notification for every time someone wanted to sell an antique record player, my phone would explode. In fact, those Samsung Galaxy 7 phones probably all exploded because they got too damn many push notifications.
ProductHunt, it’s very product-minded of you to think I need regular Chrome notifications to keep me posted about products like Poo Time, a mobile app for people who poo. (That’s everyone, in case you missed that or can point me to someone in the world who doesn’t poo.) Thank you, but I’m pretty sure if I ever want a poop app, it won’t be because it came to me as a notification.
LinkedIn, I have never cared, nor will I ever care, that someone has a work anniversary... and especially not my former intern, Connie. She got canned after she showed up high and made photocopies of her butt, remember?
Phone… What the hell, man? I don’t need to know who called me! Seriously… they’re just going to follow up with a text in two minutes anyway.
You think I wanted this? Do you, Miss Head of Product at Instagram, truly believe I needed to know that @bigbuttz6969, who I met at a party one time when I was in college, posted on Instagram for the first time in a while? Do you, VP of Facebook Live, really believe I need to see a video my friend broadcast of a 311 concert? I didn’t even need to see that IN REAL LIFE. I’m a better person for not having seen that before I died.
I urge you… Marketers. Product people. Startup founders. You could have saved my life! You could have given me more time to explore the world and use apps without being tied to them by psychological conditioning. Most of all, you could have let me enjoy being present without feeling like I constantly have to be somewhere on my phone, too.
Oh, but before I forget… thank you, dear reader, for responding the the push notification that suggested you read this article.
Just don’t look down.
Photo credit: tuthelens / Shutterstock.com
Gif credit: reddit