When you launch a new app on your iPhone, 90% of the time the first thing you see is a request to allow notifications. More often than not, the default is “yes.”
Don’t believe me? Go into your Settings right now, tap Notifications, and count how many apps have the permission to interrupt you at any moment (when I did this, I had 74).
Listen I know I’m weird, but my count was 8 apps that could interrupt me. Phone, Messages, and FaceTime were in there. I think those three get a pass to notify for me, because I get almost no communication from people via those apps that aren’t direct family members. The list is even shorter on my iPad with 6 being the number of apps that can use the iOS notification system in some form.
Add to that, my phone is almost always in Do Not Disturb. It’s in my office unless my wife is out of the house and may want to get in touch with me, or I’m expecting someone to maybe message me1.
While I have a “smart” watch, it’s mostly for running. I turn on notifications when my wife is out and I don’t want to carry my phone but she is going to tell me when she’s on the way so I can start dinner.
I think that this is how you should be treating your devices.
This line is also stellar.
With great power comes great interruptability
- Like tonight when my friend is dropping off their dog for the weekend and is likely to text to say they’re on the way. ↩