Notifications have a dirty job to do to grab the flittish eyeballs of tech users. But some of these digital chat-up-lines go about this unlovely task by attempting to pull the kind of weird moves that would get a human swiftly ejected from the conversation. Whether it’s by applying unnerving reverse psychology or cloying emotional blackmail, utilizing contortionistic linguistic tricks and traps, or liberally daubing unforgettably vivid metaphors all over our inboxes, the dark arts of marketing can cook up a very heady brew.

I’ve rounded up a small collection of some of the most memorable ‘click me’ missives from tech’s recent times, and given them the treatment they truly deserve: a visual form that illuminates exactly how surreal the business of marketing can be…

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The Surreal Emotional Cadence Of Tech Notifications, Illustrated