For the past two weeks almost all the notifications on my phone have been turned off. The only time my phone buzzes, beeps or rings is if I am getting a text or a phone call. No snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TimeHop, ESPN, Fantasy Football, or any other app notifications. You don't see a single red bubble on my phone alerting me to the number of notifcations I am missing. They are all gone, all turned off.
AND GUESS WHAT?!?!
I don't miss them at all.
Lately I have been so tired of notifications controlling what I am doing. My phone vibrates and I am eager to check what it is. I slide to unlock and then 2, 5 or 30 minutes later I am still looking at my phone. I end up so frustrated at myself for wasting so much time doing quite literally nothing on my phone.
For example, I would be having a conversation with Brooke and my phone would buzz and then I am ignoring her because I am looking at Instagram or checking out what I was doing this time last year on TimeHop, instead of focusing on what I should be doing now - talking to my beautiful wife.
The struggle of technology controlling my life is real and I am tired of it.
Now, I am not the type of guy that is going to tell you to throw out your cell phone and live technology free in a bomb shelter. I believe that technology, social media and the internet has done, can do and will continue to bring amazing things to life, but all in it's place, all in moderation. I don't want the buzz of my phone to control my time! I want to check Instagram, Twitter or anything else on my phone on my time, not my device's time.
Now you should know that when I started turning off all the notifications I was feeling a little nervous. I thought that I would be missing out on something. Like there was going to be a social media or Instagram party and I would miss it. I was nervous about missing life on a screen. HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!?
So, two weeks later and I can tell you that I have missed absolutely nothing about notifications. I have spent less time on my phone and more time looking at the loves of my life. I have spent less time checking vibrations (or phantom vibrations) and more time laughing with Brooke. Imagine that, when I am not checking my phone every 2 minutes I am more engaged with life...
It's like when I switched the notifications off, I switched my eyes on. I am starting to see real life in front of my face and not through the glowing screen, but as it happens, in 3-D, living color! It's awesome and I really like it a lot more. I think I let myself believe that I needed to know everything at all times, because that is what made me enjoyable. What makes me enjoyable is being engaged in the life that I have been given.
I challenge you for one week, a mere seven days, to switch the notifications off and switch life on. Don't let your apps and phone determine when you check them, you determine that stuff. Engage with the life in front of your eyes away from a screen. I think that you will end up in the same place that I am now - not missing them at all, more engaged and fulfilled.