notifications on a phone

Have you noticed that notifications, by and large, don’t work properly? Social media notifications will continue popping up after you have cleared them, or they show irrelevant information that aren’t actual notifications. Phone notifications don’t appear when they should. My dating app only notifies me about a new message half the time.

Is it really possible that this technology is too complicated for developers to figure out? I doubt it. My theory is that notification functionality is intentionally broken.

When you see a little red number in an app, this prompts you to engage more: to find out what’s behind door number 2. The more you engage, the more ads you see, and the more revenue the social media company generates. It’s all a nefarious scheme to trick you into using the app more. Nefarious because it’s not done because developers can’t figure out how to code properly, nor is it done to make the app more useful to consumers. It is intentionally done to drive traffic for the benefit of the company.

Since my dating app only notifies me of new messages about half the time, this forces me to actively, daily, or even multiple times a day, enter the app to check for new messages. While I’m there—the company is hoping—maybe I’ll send a message or a like or, better yet, purchase an upgrade.

All of this drives me crazy. We as a society have amazing technological prowess, but we aren’t using it to make people’s lives better. We are using it to make people’s lives worse in order to boost the bottom line of big companies. And there’s little we, as consumers, can do about it.

But there is one thing we can do. To effect change, we must collectively speak up about this issue and demand to have technology that works to benefit the consumer, not the producer. We are all strapped for time; why put up with technology that doesn’t work properly, on purpose?

Are you sufficiently notified?