Someone posts something interesting on their blog. I write a response. Then I notice there's a button to click if I want any further responses emailed to me. Well it might be interesting, and if it's not, it's not a problem - so I click.

And what do I get in the mail? A message saying I need to "click here" to confirm that yes, I really do want to receive any follow-up responses to that one blogpost in my inbox, rather than going to the trouble of visiting the blog again.

And that's how a simple, useful feature of blogs becomes an irritation rather than a benefit, a way to lose time rather than save it, and pretty soon an unused feature.

I post something to Tumblr, then notice there's a spelling mistake. To correct it I have to log in to Tumblr again, even though I just logged in to make the post, and click through several screens to correct one wrong letter.

When you run some programs on Windows 7, it asks whether you really want to run them. Yes! I do want to run them! That's why I doubleclicked the frelling icon, you stupid computer! What's that? Do I really want to allow my browser to connect to the internet? Well what a fascinating and useful question. Almost as fascinating as "Can I name ten things I hate about Windows 7?".

Am I sure that I want to reset my password? Am I really sure enough to wait for a confirmation email containing a link, and so gutwrenchingly sure that I'll even click it? Of course, it would be nice if WordPress told me what it reset my password to instead of assuming I still have the email it sent me three years ago telling me which autogenerated string of ASCII symbols I needed to type in once so I could change it to something I could actually use.

Notions of safety in computers seem to rely on the assumption that everyone has infinite time, infinite patience, an eidetic memory going back years, and a severely autistic inclination to go through repetitive mechanical procedures instead of doing the things they switched the computer on for.


  1. On reflection, it's no more annoying than the hundreds of other 'convenience' innovations - plastic bags that won't separate, cash machines that don't work, wireless connections that go down etc.

    And having to type is a captcha ('coicstin' in this case) plus an email address and a password just to put a comment on your own blog.

  2. That's why I don't leave comments most of the time. It's just too much work.