A plethora of notification systems

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While on my honeymoon for two weeks in France, I stayed away from social media. I even stayed away from all forms of the news online or on the TV. It was simply living life without any sort of media. They only entertainment I had was conversations with my new wife and experiencing the city (Paris) around us.

Coming back and working at a media syndication company, there are some differences impressing against my observations how of we live in the digital age versus just simply living life.

One thing that kinda surprised me when I got back in front of my computer was the sheer volume of how many notification systems we use.

  • Email
  • Text messages
  • Whatsapp
  • Voicemail
  • Instant messages (Google Talk, AIM)
  • Push notifications on mobile
  • Push notifications on desktop
  • Messages on Facebook
  • Notifications on Facebook

We have a steady steam of various locations that we regularly check, ALL THE TIME. That is a lot of channels to tend to. It’s really cool to have all these ways to be connected, but part of me wonders how about connecting to the environment around us? Staring out a window instead of staring at the window on our device. Feeling the concrete beneath our feet instead of the plastic device in our hands.

I’m sounding like an old fart, but having nothing to do but enjoy the moment of where you are at was very refreshing. It makes me continue to ponder the effect of chasing after tending to our various notification lists.

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5 thoughts on “A plethora of notification systems”

  1. I think about this all the time, Matt! Sometimes all the notifications are overwhelming! (And I just sent you one by commenting)

    Glad you enjoyed some alert-free time 🙂 looking forward to hearing all about it!

    1. I think it depends on what drives us to check these notifications. What’s the cause for it? Sometimes I think that it’s ok if we are doing it for other people, that is, to connect with other people. However, we can’t completely make our lives about trying to please others. But pleasing others would be much better than trying to please ourself. Like, do I check all these things for a status increase? Will my status increase if I stay more engaged? It’s kinda tiring (and empty) to play the status-increase game of getting more followers and readers.

      I’ve always enjoyed simply commenting on people’s blog posts and facebook posts just to let people know I’m reading their stuff and supporting them. So thank you for your comment. 🙂

    1. Actually, I’ve enjoyed being able to replug back in. In addition to the two-week hiatus, I also had at least two months before that where I wasn’t following any news or social media (due to the planning for the wedding). I’ve been having fun catching up with people and news. In fact, I just read an interesting blog post by Jeff Jarvis about the importance of people in media–not just the importance of content. http://buzzmachine.com/2015/01/23/mode/

      So all these notifications can be good if they are from *people*, not just content lists.

  2. Pingback: Following notification lists versus living in the moment - Matt Maldre

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