Ding! One new post incoming.

I think everyone will agree notifications from your technology are annoying. Yet everyone puts up with them to a point where it’s just a haze of buzzing, beeping and dinging that rings in your ears for your entire waking hours. I have talked quite a bit about being engaged with the world and notifications are my next assault.

For the past couple of weeks I have been experimenting with tuning out all non essential notifications. Unfortunately the iPhone doesn’t have a notification system that is as intelligent as Android, but it allows for some tuning and minimisation. However this extends to tablets, computers and my favourite bit of technology smartwatches.

The Apple Watch

Previously a big advocate of the Apple Watch, the wrist strapped device has allowed me to be more engaged and silence my phone more often. Yet the action of checking my watch when it taps me on the wrist is almost a greater social faux pars than glancing at a phone.

Smart watches are more of a balance than other equipment in use. On one hand it allows the accompanying phone to be on silent much of the time and interruption for only important notifications. Yet on the other its a piece of technology strapped to your wrist for the sole purpose of solving a problem that is easier solved.

Notification tuning

This is a movement I want more users to be aware of, notifications are easy to control and manage straight from your handset. Only you can decide what you need to see, if you need it to beep, or if its important to you. Personally social media notifications are turned off for me, as are pointless app such as games and shopping apps.

These types of apps have a tendency to pop up notifications for little reason other than to get you engaged with the app again. Attention is the commodity the trade from and sell it to advertisers. If there is nothing important the app can tell you, switch them firmly to off!

The rest is up to you, experiment with what you need interrupting your life. Despite you thinking that it doesn’t affect you it’s surprising how much calmer and happier your life becomes from seeing less pointless information.

The only issue with this approach is the possibility of gameify your notifications. Constantly checking the app to see if you have any notifications. There is no way around overcoming this, the apps and screens we use are specifically designed to keep us engaged in them. Hopefully sanity will prevail and you will quickly realise that many of you beeps and dings are simply not useful to you.

There also needs to be some realisation from a user that it is also quite arrogant to think you need to answer every notification straight back. Not only in the self created bubble where you think that you are so important enough to warrant an immediate reply. Also that picking your phone up in the middle of being engaged in something else is amazingly annoying.

Without getting too critical and socially scolding this issues is almost socially accepted now. We all have a story of observing others who are too engrossed in another activity to be aware of what is around them. Yet the haze will continue until more people cut out the noise.