Shutting off alerts from all of your apps is the simplest and most regret-free ways to restore a large measure of your digital sanity. Even calling them "notifications" is buying into the fiction that they exist for your convenience rather than the app makers'. Call them what they are: engagement prompts and growth-hacking tricks.

Social media apps are plenty addictive enough without dings, buzzes, and badges demanding your attention every few minutes. If you turn off Facebook notifications and then forget to log into Facebook for a few days, that's a pretty good sign you're not getting much utility out of Facebook. You might feel like you need to know about new emails or Slack messages as soon as they come in, but unless you're awaiting a recently harvested organ for transplant, you're better off checking your various in-boxes on a schedule that allows for uninterrupted spans of focused work in between.

Published on: Feb 4, 2019