The 11 Worst Kinds of Smartphone Notifications on Earth
Me, whenever I pull my phone out of my pocket because it is buzzing and I see that it is a horrible smartphone notification. (Thinkstock)
At its heart, the smartphone notification is meant to give you a real-time snippet of recent information from a service without your having to open up that app. A preview of a new text message is a logical, beneficial notification. So too is a notification for a new post on your Facebook timeline, or an alert for an upcoming event in your calendar.
Some notifications, however, are not so useful or beneficial. In fact, they miss the mark of being useful or beneficial so far that they are annoying, pointless, and even infuriating in their mere existence.
All of these notifications can be turned off by visiting the Settings section of their respective apps, but frankly these app makers should have known better than to send us them in the first place.
These are the worst push notifications in the world. We wish we could swipe them all away, right off the planet Earth.
1. Facebook reminding you of upcoming birthdays.
Occasionally, Facebook will pop forth onto my smartphone to say that “Four of your friends have birthdays today.” It does not matter how important those people are to me; what is important is that I know they have birthdays. Maybe I want to write on their timelines. Maybe I want to buy them a virtual sticker. Maybe I want to check in on my college roommate’s ex-girlfriend’s brother and congratulate him on making it another year without dying. It’s his birthday, after all!
Look: I do not need to be prodded with the information that my friend from middle school, my second cousin, my high school Spanish teacher, and a former co-worker’s bail bondsman were all birthed on a certain day. Thanks for the reminder on the front of my phone screen, though, Facebook!
Bonus: After the birthdays happen, the notification STILL sticks around, as a memento, or something.
2. Twitter letting you know what two “friends” are talking about RIGHT NOW.