“Notification” is a dishonest euphemism

Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Surely, Tim Harford suggests, everyone switches off most notifications, right?

One study, published in 2015 by researchers at the Technical University of Berlin, found that on average six out of seven smartphone apps were left in their default notification settings. Given how many notifications are clearly valueless, this suggests that in the face of endless notifications, many smartphone users have learnt helplessness.


“Notification” is a dishonest euphemism, anyway. The correct word is “interruption”, because it prompts the right question: how often do I want my phone to interrupt me?


  1. Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

    You can see it in Windows 10 too, where any ‘settings’ you make in configuration will just undo themselves with the next ‘update’, so users just give up and become increasingly bovinized.

    The ‘user disempowerment’ trend in software is just one more of innumerable vectors through which the fall-out of the American Empire’s officially unofficial state religion expresses itself; of life under a gnostic theocracy; which vacillates between atomized faithlessness at best, and consciously validated antagonism to the good, true, or beautiful at worst.


    Quality is ultimately a spiritual factor; appliances today – like many things today – are shitty not merely because of lacking in any instrumental means, but because of lacking in mindset that sees any value in pursuing such ends in the first place.

    Folk everywhere look for nourishing bread of spirit, but their jailors offer only stones. And many will take those stones anyways, and choke on them, as many all around are choking, choking each other, for there is nothing else for them.

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