I’ve noticed a trend that seems to becoming increasingly prevalent in all forms of websites and apps. And that’s “not now”.

You are posed with a question. They vary… would you like to download our app, fill in your profile, give access to your phonebook etc. But the options now are invariably ”yes” and “not now”. Facebook did it today when wanting access to my phonebook, but they are by no means alone. At a website I joined recently I got a ‘friend request’ – even though I knew no one there, so I knew it was spam. Could I say no to this friend request? No, I could only say “not now”. Like I could choose to like this spammer later.

I previously never had issue with the word “no”. If I clicked it, I didn’t think I was forever saying no to this option. So I’m not sure why the change has come about.

There is a subtle, authoritarian tone to the message. They are taking away our ability to say no to something.

The message is that you WILL do what they want, but you just won’t do it right now. Rather than saying “No – I do not choose to do that”.

I won’t click “not now” out of principle. I will close an app that doesn’t offer me an option of no, or ignore the question.

Perhaps that’s petty, but in the era where so many companies sees its users as algorithms rather than customers I wish to retain my right to say no.

Originally posted by Antony on his blog, which has now sadly departed the Internet