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A week ago, I switched most push notifications off. Now, life feels more manageable.

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
18,982
4,105
2,075
As a background, I have a pretty hectic job as an investor and business owner. It's hard to switch off.

Recently, I realised that from the moment I wake up, my screen is full of notifications. Emails, CNN, RT, Al-Jazeera, Lifesum, plus the usual WhatsApp and iMessages. When I go to my phone home screen, red badges everywhere, prompting me to have a look - mail, Linkedin, Facebook, hell even Netflix and TED Talks have a red badge. Notification centre is miles long, and my mild ocd dictates it needs to be attended to.

So I decided to massively reduce the amount of notifications I get

- Mail - no notifications, sound or badge. I open the app to see if there are mails.
- CNN, RT, Al-Jazeera, Guardian, Quora, Bloomberg, Apple News - no notifications, sound or badge. I swipe to the Today screen to see headlines if I want
- Netflix, TED, Pokemon Go - No notifications, sound or badge. There really is no need.
- LinkedIn - No badge, but notifications allowed since they are not meaningless shit like the badge
- Slack, Facebook - no notification, but a badge, and FB marketplace blocked
- My Fitness Pal, Lifesum, Grokker - probably gonna delete them altogether
- Dyson - I know the fucker will get stuck, no need to get notified

The only "essential" notifications I still allow

- iMessage, WhatsApp, Skype, Messenger - friends still matter
- Videos - new episodes of shows I like
- Calendar - so I can quickly accept
- Amazon deliveries - although I might turn this off, we have a concierge
- British Airways, Uber, Gett, Deliveroo - status updates related to a specific journey or food
- BBC - since they only notify of very big news, not even daily

Now, as a result, I wake up to mostly an empty lock screen, or like, one iMessage. My home screen doesn't compel me to tap to each app to remove the red dot. I manage actually wait until I am at work before I open Mail. And this is my Notification centre today:



Has anyone else reduced their digital stress? Does the good feeling it last?
 

DigitalRicket

Member
Jul 4, 2012
1,851
0
425
I've definitely done this. And I even went a step further and straight up deleted a few social network apps. I didn't delete my accounts but rather just got rid of the apps so I wasn't constantly checking for updates every few minutes.
 

blanchot

Member
Jun 15, 2010
637
20
550
i hardly get any notifications. certainly, not enough to switch push notifications off. life is still feeling unmanageable to me.
 

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
18,982
4,105
2,075
I never turned those fuckers on, other than email

Every time I got the 'Push Notifications' notice, I always said no.
That was actually possible, never thought about it back in the day. I think notifications gradually crept into our lives, as businesses found out they improve the retention metric of their service. And since most people just transfer old settings to a new phone, the amount of notifications just snowballs.
 

TranceKuja

Member
Sep 2, 2009
559
0
0
I did this last holiday, haven't turned them back on after that. Even for WhatsApp. Yeah friends still matter, but even they can wait a few hours. If it's really important, they'll call.

Push notifications are really getting out of hand too. I even get them from Google now to try Duo, or some nature-route app suddenly started pushing notifications for a new nature tv-show. Get out of here.
 

jesu

Member
Mar 30, 2014
11,616
0
495
The only notifications I get are from star wars galaxy of heroes.
And my dog gives me death stares, I suppose that's a notification.
 

Gunship

Member
Aug 14, 2016
103
3
230
Did it a while ago and didn't realise how much of an irritant and cause of anxiety notifications had become until I disabled them. Now I just check my email three times a day on my phone and desktop Mac, deal with any "important" emails there and then and delete everything else.

At night I put my phone into airplane mode and just use it as a torch. Most of us don't need these constant intrusions and alerts, no matter how important we like to think we are.
 

BocoDragon

or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
Dec 5, 2005
51,668
2
0
Yeah totally get it Chitta. I think you're onto something.

I like notifications. I don't want to turn them off completely. Maybe unlike some people, I like being connected to a certain degree...

But I tune my notifications until only those very relevant to me can make it through. Many apps' notifications get turned off completely. Some apps have notifications but I selectively turn off anything that isn't directly addressed to me. I want only signal, no noise.

I actually do have email notifications on. A few years ago with my wild inbox, this would have been crazy... but let me tell you something: the unsubscribe button works in most email today. You can create an email feed that is tailored to only allow actual messages from real people addressed directly to you.

Maybe this isn't feasible if you're on some work or school email firehose. But I've had a "relevant" email feed for a few years now and it works great. I shudder when I see the average user's "pile of junk" email inbox.
 

family_guy

Member
Mar 17, 2013
9,675
2
610
iOS notifications make being able to deal with notifications quickly a pain anyway. It's probably the worst thing about the software. Android is a breeze. Anyway I get what you mean, but I went one step further and uninstalled most apps. I'll check stuff like Facebook once a week using the browser.
 

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
18,982
4,105
2,075
I actually do have email notifications on. A few years ago with my wild inbox, this would have been crazy... but let me tell you something: the unsubscribe button works in most email today. You can create an email feed that is tailored to only allow actual messages from real people addressed directly to you.

Maybe this isn't feasible if you're on some work or school email firehose. But I've had a "relevant" email feed for a few years now and it works great. I shudder when I see the average user's "pile of junk" email inbox.
I do inbox zero as a philosophy - the new Outlook app on iOS is actually really good in sorting shit out. But the volume of relevant stuff I get is high too, since I work with many companies, and see new ones. Nothing super urgent mostly, luckiky.
 

oneils

Member
Mar 2, 2011
7,925
0
720
Ottawa, Canada
steamcommunity.com
I totally get it. I think you could easily turn off everything else and not miss much.

I have all push notifications off by default. I also lost my password to Facebook.

The main social media I now use is neogaf. I've been trying to read it less by introducing more hobbies. I go to the gym now and I read more (go to the library). It's really helped with stress levels. I'm really blowing gaf when I'm on the can or while on bed or in between books.

I still need to work on sleep more. I side to go to bed at around 1 but now it's around 1130.
 

BocoDragon

or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
Dec 5, 2005
51,668
2
0
I do inbox zero as a philosophy - the new Outlook app on iOS is actually really good in sorting shit out. But the volume of relevant stuff I get is high too, since I work with many companies, and see new ones. Nothing super urgent mostly, luckiky.
Yup. I'm with you. Inbox zero is the way. I'll also vouch for Gmail's Inbox app to achieve this.
 

ClosingADoor

Member
Apr 6, 2009
16,923
0
0
Amsterdam
I only set it for Messenger and Whatsapp. Notifications for email and my phone would be beeping 24/7. People can wait for a reply until I get to it.
 

John Caboose

Member
May 15, 2013
3,551
0
0
Sweden
Almost never turn em on in the first place. Stuff like email, texts and messenger notify me but never games or random apps or 'social networks' or anything like that. Also I never hear anything from my phone unless it is ringing. Apple Watch vibrates and that's it.

Inbox zero is also a thing I do, although I've never heard the term before the posts above me.
 

andthebeatgoeson

Junior Member
Jun 7, 2004
23,035
0
0
42
I did awhile ago and my stress level, while on my phone is much better. Just open up email a couple of times a day and you feel much better. No need to be agitated over an email from best buy.

And i delete apps that are 'abusive'. Those apps who change your settings without you doing it. Yes, I'm looking at you NBA and NFL apps. You can turn off the notifications but every new season, i would start getting notifications all over again. Even though i constantly read the sports section or ESPN.com, so i would get annoying notifications about some trade or crap that doesn't need to interrupt your day.
 

Zepp Twofist

Member
Aug 14, 2015
2,706
1
325
I only have notifications for email and messages. I don't really check or respond to work related emails outside of work hours either. If it was important they'd call.

As for social media and whatever I don't install the apps and/or don't allow any push notifications.
 
May 22, 2010
8,115
0
580
Sound like you have too many apps too.
Why so many news sources?
You should just favourite all of those in Apple News and then just use a singular source...
 

mrkgoo

Member
Jul 7, 2004
24,613
58
1,610
I have basically always been where you are now.

Once I started getting emails to my phone, I realised it stressed me to see the badge, and I consequently turned automatic retrieval off (although ht badge will remain if I don't read them when i check).

I pretty much just have sms/imessage as my only real meaningful badge and notification.
 

Moose Biscuits

It would be extreamly painful...
Oct 21, 2016
1,486
0
0
I think the only notifications I get are texts, WhatsApp messages, emails and Amazon deliveries. I don't see the point of news apps and the like since I can go online to do that, I don't play games on my phone, and I don't watch shows on it either.

Another good tip: cut down on the number of friends you have dramatically. I have one friend who messages me, which is very easily manageable. With family, you can't really do that but you can take a stupid long time to respond to messages so they don't do it as often.

I never feel like I'm being overwhelmed with notifications, which is great.
 

bootsthecat

Banned
Dec 21, 2014
1,069
0
245
Manchester, NH
We cannot bring our cell phones into work due to the camera. I have a desk phone, and a select few non-work folks have the number for emergencies. At first, I would go to my car and check every couple hours, now I wait until end of day unless I'm expecting a call or text or whatever.

It's great, shows how non-essential the thing is really is.
 

Pharaun

Member
Apr 5, 2013
596
0
0
I never turned those fuckers on, other than email

Every time I got the 'Push Notifications' notice, I always said no.
Same here, there is really so little that is urgent enough that I have to know right when something changes/happens. It can wait until I have the time manually check an app or service.
 

MilkLizard

Member
Feb 28, 2011
1,504
181
990
35
Yeah totally get it Chitta. I think you're onto something.

I like notifications. I don't want to turn them off completely. Maybe unlike some people, I like being connected to a certain degree...

But I tune my notifications until only those very relevant to me can make it through. Many apps' notifications get turned off completely. Some apps have notifications but I selectively turn off anything that isn't directly addressed to me. I want only signal, no noise.

I actually do have email notifications on. A few years ago with my wild inbox, this would have been crazy... but let me tell you something: the unsubscribe button works in most email today. You can create an email feed that is tailored to only allow actual messages from real people addressed directly to you.

Maybe this isn't feasible if you're on some work or school email firehose. But I've had a "relevant" email feed for a few years now and it works great. I shudder when I see the average user's "pile of junk" email inbox.
This 100%. I used unroll.me to clean my inbox, it's a great service.
 
Jun 7, 2007
5,721
46
1,240
(...)

Has anyone else reduced their digital stress? Does the good feeling it last?
Cool thread, currently in the process of doing so. ^^

Most of my notifications are turned off anyway, but I started to mute certain WhattsApp groups because it's just like spam. Turned them on for the most important people.

Started to delete apps that I don't need so I don't check them because of boredom.


Next: Using my smartphone less. Like most people I look into the phone far too often and far too much. It's often times such a disctration.

Also next: Use NeoGAF less. I check it just like some Apps to see if there's something new.
 

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
18,982
4,105
2,075
Same here, there is really so little that is urgent enough that I have to know right when something changes/happens. It can wait until I have the time manually check an app or service.
That's actually a very good criteria.

Been reading a book called "Deep Work" that has convinced me this is the way. The constant distractions are a killer when you're trying to get some real work done. And most of the time it is unimportant nonsense.
Thanks for the tip, bought the book now!
 
That's actually a very good criteria.



Thanks for the tip, bought the book now!
Lots of good tips and info, and I'm only halfway through.
Cool thread, currently in the process of doing so. ^^

Most of my notifications are turned off anyway, but I started to mute certain WhattsApp groups because it's just like spam. Turned them on for the most important people.

Started to delete apps that I don't need so I don't check them because of boredom.


Next: Using my smartphone less. Like most people I look into the phone far too often and far too much. It's often times such a disctration.

Also next: Use NeoGAF less. I check it just like some Apps to see if there's something new.
Basically this. When I stop going to GAF as a reflex, it will be a great day.
 

Acinixys

Member
Mar 14, 2012
6,008
9
590
South Africa
This has always been my go to mode

I hate the idea of notifications

My wife gets nonstop notifications from pintrest/facebook/watsapp/twitter etc etc and it drives me insane. Especially since it distracts her instantly.
 

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
18,982
4,105
2,075
Basically this. When I stop going to GAF as a reflex, it will be a great day.
I've been trying to do that for 15 years, have been unable to achieve any success. Killing notifications is a walk in the park in comparison.
 

rbanke

Member
Jul 8, 2011
1,679
76
735
Titusville, Florida
This has always been my go to mode

I hate the idea of notifications

My wife gets nonstop notifications from pintrest/facebook/watsapp/twitter etc etc and it drives me insane. Especially since it distracts her instantly.
Same for me.

I have to have email & text notifications because of responsibilities to my clients but outside of that I don't let any app send notifications and never have. I don't understand why anyone would want to be spammed from random apps.

It must be my personality because I detest spam or junk callers more than normal i think. I also don't understand things like youtube notifications on their site, I just check my subscription page for things that I want to see. Thats just how I'm wired, I'll go seek out the things I need or want and don't want those things coming to me.

So yes, OP for me, its a better way of life.
 

Symphonia

Banned
Mar 20, 2013
14,670
0
0
I only use iMessage and WhatsApp so, as such, they’re the only notifications I wake up to. Everything else like Mail notifications I turned off.
 

Mathieran

Member
Feb 25, 2015
2,352
0
0
Durham, NC
I never turned them on in the first place. I only get notifications for messages from people (text, messenger, etc)

Everything else can wait. Although it's been tempting to get them from Wario64.
 
Apr 6, 2013
3,604
1
0
Facebook started giving me friend suggestion notifications. It was at that point I turned off almost all notifications, including birthdays, events and marketplace. I don't want constant interruptions in my life.
 

Vital Tundra

Member
Apr 13, 2015
8,032
4
0
Wilmington, NC
Yup. There was once a point where I had everything letting me now everything but I discovered I really didn't care so for the past couple years the only things that I get notified for is Amazon, Messager, and Discord. I feel much better in general after making the change, especially keeping Facebook out of my life as much as possible.
 
Jun 7, 2007
5,721
46
1,240
Basically this. When I stop going to GAF as a reflex, it will be a great day.
I've been trying to do that for 15 years, have been unable to achieve any success. Killing notifications is a walk in the park in comparison.
Try blocking apps.

https://getcoldturkey.com/

There are also other applications / desktop blockers, just google which suits you the best.


You can set how long and when certain websites should be blocked from you.
 

PumpkinSpice

Banned
Aug 27, 2013
6,334
1
0
I turned off email notifications on my blackberry in 2010 and I haven't really looked back. I've been pretty clear to every place I've worked since then that I just don't do email outside of working hours.

Nowadays the only thing on my current phone allowed to notify me is LINE, which is 98% my wife.
 

AuthenticM

Member
Mar 2, 2010
22,588
30
0
- iMessage, WhatsApp, Skype, Messenger - friends still matter
- Videos - new episodes of shows I like
- Calendar - so I can quickly accept
- Amazon deliveries - although I might turn this off, we have a concierge
- British Airways, Uber, Gett, Deliveroo - status updates related to a specific journey or food
- BBC - since they only notify of very big news, not even daily
Why do you need most of these? They hardly feel essential. iMessage, Messenger and Calendar, sure. But the rest? Seriously ask yourself why you need Uber or Deliveroo or British Airways.

Personally, the only notifications I get on my phone are text messages, emails, Messages (Facebook) and reminders I set myself in colornotes. That's it.
 

Shadybiz

Member
Mar 2, 2010
8,138
1
0
New Jersey - USA
Oh god, you were living in notification hell.

I only get notifications for texts on my phone, nothing else.

I also refuse to install Facebook on my phone; I just check it on my desktop at home. I am contemplating getting rid of it entirely...I only went back to it because a few friends moved out of state, but I don't even use it to communicate with them, so there's no real reason to keep it.
 
Jun 18, 2013
3,753
1
0
I only allow push notifications for email, texts, and calendar. Anything else I turn that crap off because it drives me nuts.
I don't get that many emails a day because I unsubscribe/mark as spam anything I don't want to ever hear from again.
 
Sep 2, 2007
30,322
2,080
1,465
First time I got woken up by a random app at like 3 am is when I turned off notifications for everything except text and phone.

Everything else I'm 100% okay with checking manually