Life Without Notifications

Ah, the dramatic post title to pull you in. The short of it is I’m trying to live my life with less of those annoying notifications we all seem to think we need and focus on getting important stuff done. Maybe we don’t even think about them; they just get turned on when we install a new app.

I have been finding them detrimental to my ability to concentrate and create more worthwhile art (and work in general). Constantly seeing that “So-and-So liked your photo” or “So-and-So wants to connect on LinkedIn” and on and on and on…it’s draining after a point. I had them turned on on my laptop because I wanted to use the inbred form of posting from inside my operating system and it seemed so easy. But those notifications have to go.

I admit to having a lot of computing devices, most all of them in the Apple universe. Watch, phone, laptop, desktop, tablet. I never meant to have that many but one leads to another. And they all want to inform me of the latest, greatest all the time. It took me about 30 minutes to turn off most all of the notifications on all the devices.

I no longer get notified when I have mail (I check it manually twice a day. Well, really 4-5 times a day, but I’m working on twice a day), when someone likes something of mine on any platform, when Facebook thinks I need to “Boost a post”, or when just about anything else happens. I might be missing out on some great update, but I really, really don’t think so. Along these lines, I am unsubscribing from every mailing list that doesn’t really make my life better.

I left a few of them on, such as iMessages on my phone so I can still communicate with my wife during the day with a reasonable response time. But those same notifications don’t show on any other device. If my phone is not with me, I don’t want those beeps and buzzes. It means I am slow to respond in the evenings when my phone might be across the room and I’m hella lazy that night. But that’s okay.

I’m trying to be ruled less by impulse and shiny things and more by pointed goals and things I really want to accomplish in life. For instance, writing on this site more and finishing my 31 Days To Better Photography series. I’m sure someone out there would appreciate not being left in the dark about such things. I hope.

Until then, if you need to get a hold of me in a hurry, call me. That still works and that fancy device in your pocket actually works as a phone! Heck, you probably pay for that feature too.

What about you? What have you cut out in our technology-filled world in order to focus on what’s most important? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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