First it was the sounds. The beeps, the bleeps and the bells. The beats, the songs and the conch. Emails, messengers, multiple emails, multiple messengers, YouTube, games, apps. I would be very organized in setting different tones to different applications to know exactly which one was beeping.
It was fun.
At first…………………………. Or so I though.
Until one day, a dark and ominous day that I will never forget… the sounds found a way to connect directly to my nervous system and spread vicious shocks of electricity. The beeps, the bleeps and the bells. The beats, the songs and the conch had accumulated the power to defeat me.
Every now and then I would get interrupted for trivial reasons like game spam, comments, gossip, events, shares that I could have read later.
Alerts? What is there to be alerted about? Alerts are supposed to be about important, almost life and death issues. Who is abusing my alerts? Who is hurting my silence….
My old neighbors cat or the fact that someone baked a cake are not alerts and don’t deserve that status. My attention was wasted as I was distracted every 5 minutes. With the beeps, the bleeps and the bells. The freaking beats, the lousy songs and the … conch.
That is when I noticed an increasing hatred inside of me. I now had become hateful of notifications. Little did I realize that something else was at work here. An evil, dark and invisible force.
I started to massively disable notifications on games. But that was not enough. I then disabled sounds completely. The led colors should be enough as notifications, I thought. Silent and non-intrusive.
And all was well for a day or two but… the led light was continuously blinking… It would blink and blink and blink and blink …… and as I stubbornly refused to check it. I would look away, pretend that I didn’t know but my mind KNEW that it was blinking. My whole attention was fixed to it just like Sauron’s evil EYE was fixed to the one ring.
One notification to rule them all.
One notification to find them. One notification to bring them all and in the darkness bind them!
Now I finally knew that the smartphone was no ordinary smartphone. It was THE ONE RING!!! AND I WAS FRODO!!!
The whispers of Nazguls echoed through my hands, but the voice of Gandalf guided my fingers to the application settings. As I felt the magic flow through the tips of my fingers I knew that I had … killed the blinking! I had also killed the beeps, the bleeps and the bells. The beats, the songs and the silly conch.
On the next day I announced my friends that I was now going to be viewing messages immediately only on Signal.
I also removed all led blinking notifications from all apps and only kept one email and Signal.
Am I isolated now? Yes. My email is organized in archives, so that only real people make it to the inbox. People don’t tend to send gossip through email! And nobody wants to download Signal. At least nobody who has something important to say to me. Do I mind the loss of clutter and gossip?
Do I mind reaching Rivendell??? No my friends, I have found …. peace at last. A peace without endless electrifying beeps, bleeps and bells. No beats, no songs, not even a conch.
I do still check my notifications but I now I do that at the end of the day collectively, thus allowing myself not to constantly get distracted. Most of the times I don’t even use the smartphone anymore, I use the computer. The one primordial and only benevolent force of the cyber universe.
This way I am in control of the notifications and not they of me.
There IS Life without notifications. The ONLY real life!.
May the force be with you, to live long and prosper… Right! 😀