Push notifications for everyday life

computer keyboard with blue backlighting

If Life provided a push notification for every major decision, I’d probably be making better choices.

I sat at my computer this afternoon, and a message appeared:

“This website would like to send you push notifications.”

The pop-up window gave me two options: Allow. Don’t Allow.

For someone like me, this was an empowering moment. I slog through most days feeling like a hapless chess piece in the Game of Life, so to be assigned a decision of this magnitude was almost overwhelming.

After all, ours is a society in which we’ve surrendered all control. Alarm clocks bark at us to wake up, Outlook calendars dictate our schedules, and any sliver of free time must be salvaged from the tattered scraps remaining at the end of the day (after we watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead, of course).

But here was an opportunity for me to make a decision — a decision whose outcome could engender larger-than-life consequences and tear the very fabric of the space-time continuum.

Well, not really, but such is the seriousness I bring to all my decision-making. You should see me trying to order at a restaurant. (“I can come back if you’re not ready,” the server usually says, trying to smile through gritted teeth.)

I had to pause for a moment to think. My deliberations were extensive. The website wanted to send me notifications. That was its intent, and an earnest one at that, based on the message’s pleasant and down-to-earth tone.

But would I allow it?

Allow. I love that verb. “Allow” is when a parent lets her kid stay up late on a school night, or when a woman condescends to let me buy her a drink (as long as I promise not to speak to or otherwise engage her — which, I admit, is where my allure begins to unravel).

Being asked if I would “allow” the push notification instilled me with a sense of authority — and I have to confess, it felt good.

Which made me think: We need push notifications for real-life situations, not just computer applications. Push notifications would allow us to exert some control over the seemingly random events that shape our sad and miserable lives (made more sad and miserable by all those women who won’t talk to me, even when I’ve bought them a drink).

Some examples:

  • “Your boss wants to assign you a massive project on Friday afternoon that will require working the entire weekend.”

Don’t allow.

  • “Your computer hard drive wants to crash, which will result in seven years of data being wiped out in a single fell swoop. Oh, and none of your backup solutions will work, but that’s only because you were too cheap to implement any.”

Nope. Don’t allow.

  • “You want to sleep with the promiscuous ugly chick downstairs, but only because you’re drunk and desperate and can’t find a date for Saturday night.”

Allow … but I’ll need a backup solution in case I catch the crabs and require a disaster recovery plan.

  • “That promiscuous chick confronts you three weeks later claiming she’s pregnant, and she’s identifying you as the father … probably because she knows you have a stable job and low self-esteem.”

Don’t allow.

  • “She won’t go away, and she knows where you live. Oh, and you didn’t catch crabs, thank goodness — but you did catch the clap.”

Control-Alt-Delete. Restart.

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9 thoughts on “Push notifications for everyday life

    1. Allen Post author

      I hate to say it, but she actually got the raw end of the deal — because let’s face it, I’m no Brad Pitt.

      I don’t want to go so far as to say she got the short end of the stick, but … well, there you go.

      Like

  1. jlouisemac

    Ha! I was secretly hoping that your post ended in the site messing with you- and when you went to push the “don’t allow” button, the ad jumped and forced you to sign the “allow” button. Which is totally a thing ad’s do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Allen Post author

      I think I fell victim to one of those notorious popup ads.

      Luckily, based on my browsing history, the only ads I get are for rubber-vomit manufacturers and books on how to find a date.

      So even if I get redirected, I’ll be right in my element!

      Like

  2. Gail Kaufman

    I too feel empowered when given that option. As an introvert, I wish people wore an Allow/ Don’t Allow button on their heads so when they approach me, I can hit Don’t Allow and they would simply walk away. Oh, to dream..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Allen Post author

      As a fellow introvert, I have to say that’s one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard! If Apple included that feature in their next iOS, I might finally upgrade my iPhone.

      Like

      1. Allen Post author

        You’d probably have a line of people camped outside the door, just like at Apple product unveilings.

        Of course, being introverts, they’d probably be keeping to themselves. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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