Limiting Distractions: Notifications

Sometimes, especially if you’re like me, you’ll be on a roll when it comes to work, perhaps¬†figuring out a program you’re working on, when you suddenly get interrupted. And just like that, your mental focus is gone. What were you doing? You’ll figure that out after a few minutes.

Notifications can sometimes be that interruption. Sure, it may be cool to have your iPhone docked next to your computer. But if the constant comments on Facebook are distracting you, is that a good thing to keep in sight?

The better question: are you in control of your device, or is it in control of you?

While I’m not one to disable all of my notifications1, as some have done, earlier this week I started disabling notifications that I had set up for some time. In particular, anything with a social element has been muted. My iPhone and iPad no longer have permission to display¬†notifications, play sounds, or show a badge icon. In short, if I want to know what’s going on there, I’ll find out when I manually check those platforms.

Even if you’re a heavy Twitter user, is there any reason why you need to be disturbed with every mention? Is something so urgent that a social media message should disrupt your life? I’m doing my best to say no to those questions. My iOS devices are useful. To me. They respond to what I want to use them for. And that’s how this relationship will stay.


  1. Yet 

How Do YOU Use Social Media?

I’ve been thinking about social media and how it has expanded in recent years. In the days before Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter, social networks seemed to be much smaller groups of individuals. You would have your Livejournal, Xanga, or ezBoard (now Yuku) collectives, but none of them have the reach that social media seems to have today.

In today’s online world, with just under 10% of the world’s population on Facebook alone, social media is playing an important role in the modern world. Businesses are finding more and more use for social media networks to relay information and communicate with customers.

I’m curious how other individuals and businesses use social media. Please take the time to comment on this blog and answer the question: How do you use social media?