Chris Jenkins


Eternal Do Not Disturb

December 04, 2019

Don’t let distractions keep you from real life.

I’ve always been an active user/advocate of the do not disturb functionality of any device I owned that receives notifications. It’s essential for sleeping, weekends with friends, and long meetings where your phone would have kept buzzing incessantly.

A month ago, we went on a quick trip for the weekend, and I turned on do not disturb, and then I just, never turned it off again. I didn’t intentionally do it on that first Monday & Tuesday back to work, calls will still interrupt on the device, but everything else was just quietly suppressed for handling at a time of my choosing.

Once I realized I had erroneously left it enabled and nothing horrible had happened, I decided I’d just leave it like that and find out what would happen if I never turned it off. So far it’s been magical.

It’s nice to remove the mental tax of knowing that you received a text message while you’re talking with someone, takes away the urge to constantly look at your phone. Combine this with another one of my passions, mechanical watches, and there isn’t much reason to pull your phone out until you’re ready to address what’s happened while you’ve been distracted by what’s actually happening in the real world.

Do not disturb should really be the default state of the phone. I feel like it’d be more apt to call the feature, “Intrude in my life”, and leave the intrusion feature disabled from the factory.

I’m always very intentional about removing distractions from the really important times in my life, but I’m realizing that every second of my life is valuable, whether working or playing, or languorously watching the stars, it’s better for me to be able to address the digital world on my own terms, rather than be torn away from living my life into a constant whirlwind of distractions.

I love technology and the interconnectedness of modern life too much to advocate for detoxing from your devices, they’re just too damn useful. BUT, if you haven’t tried to just tone down the intrusions that we’ve allowed into our lives, I think it’s worth giving it a try.

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