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Push notifications

Growing up we had three basic push notifications. First up was the phone. Remember when we used to get excited when the phone rang? Second was the door bell, er, door knocks. We weren’t fancy enough to have an actual door bell until much later. Finally, we had mom or dad yelling at us.

All three were gated in some way, as in, they were in a type of queue. While everyone in the house would be notified, usually the notification only affected one person. And when that notification was in use, no other notifications could come through. When the phone was in use, it wasn’t going to ring, same in as the door bell. The mom & dad notification could affect multiple kids at once though. And those notifications were very loud and very intrusive.

Compare this set of pushes with today. Most people have a device in their pocket, and this device can push multiple notifications to the user at once. No wonder people are stressed. It’s like having multiple moms and dads yelling for you 24/7!

Here’s what I do to handle the overload. On my iPhone, I turn off notifications for almost every app. The only apps that can push a notification to me are messaging apps and phone calls. My default ring tone is silence, and my default messaging tone is also silence. I then add a ringtone and/or messaging tone only for those contacts that I know need to get a hold of me. This is my close family and a few work acquaintances. For everyone else, when they call or message me, I do not get a push notification. It makes for quite a blissful experience, not being annoyed by my phone. The app icons still show me messages waiting, but that means I check on my own time, not when I receive the message.

How do you handle all of the notifications in your life?

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