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Uber Eats is begging me to come back – but I’m out there in the real world, supermarket shopping | Emma Brockes

Post-pandemic, companies that boomed by helping us stay at home are struggling to stay afloat. Their loss is my gain

There’s a pathetic but satisfying thing that occurs when you stop using an online service you’re used to frequenting. This was Facebook a few years ago, when plummeting engagement whipped the social media platform into a frenzy of desperate invitations and prompts. It’s Fresh Direct when you fill your basket with groceries and – I can’t recommend this enough, if you’re looking for the tiny high that comes from withholding – don’t check out, triggering a bunch of wheedling automated messages, begging you to come back.

This week, in my life, it’s Uber Eats. For the past couple of years I’ve ordered from them once a week and now I’ve stopped, causing the food delivery service to issue a flurry of semi-hysterical special offers. Each spam text, each begging notification, reminds me of the money I’m saving. If you like rejecting things (I like rejecting things) then this exercise will thrill you: rejection without the human cost of hurting someone’s feelings.

Emma Brockes is a Guardian columnist

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