My Techy Habits: Notifications


“The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.” – John F. Kennedy


I was going to post my habits and daily technological rituals last night but to be honest, after running around like an 8 year old with a bunch of 8 year olds, I was kinda beat. Don’t get me wrong though, loved it. The other reason why I didn’t post my habits last night was due to the fact that I purposefully forgot to make it a to-do on my to-do list. The reason being that I wanted to have the purest results I could on myself. In sociology you learn that if your are doing an experiment or just generally evaluating someone, it is better to not tell them what is going on. Therefore you can get a unhindered response and purer results. If you let someone know that they are being watched and studied, they do not act the same way they would if you hadn’t told them they were being watched. 

I did not take scale or not of my habits numerically due to the fact that I wanted to have unhindered results. Instead I took mental not of what I was doing. So here was my day yesterday in a nut shell.

After posting my Five Days Before blog, I carried on with my work for the day. I had a few cars I needed to take pictures of so I went on  the hunt for car keys. While waiting in one of my co-workers office to ask for keys, I found myself scrolling through news feeds. I then stopped for a minute and thought about how I came to doing that because honestly I just remember finding myself scrolling through stuff on my phone. It all started with a notification. I originally heard a ding on my phone with told me that I had a new email. So I checked it, spam of course. Then I found myself checking every single social outlet I had available on my phone. I caught myself doing this after I had checked Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Now This News, and Breaking News. What should have taken only 5 seconds took me 5 minutes. All because I received a notification on my phone. It kinda freaked me out a little to be honest. I mean regularly you don’t give it a second thought, but when you come to that realization it kind of puts you in that “Whoa” moment.

I carried on through the day listening to my Indie Christmas station on Pandora, which is awesome by the way. Next I found myself scrolling again through my news feeds. Caught it early this time though, Facebook. This also started all due to the fact that I was notified that I got an update from my ESPN app about A. Rod. I laughed realizing what I was doing again and continued to scroll on.

I continued to do this through out the day maybe two more times while I was at work. 

On my way home from work I used my WAZE app to navigate the best route to get home through all the traffic. Along the way I scheduled some events on my calendar using Siri so I could continue driving without looking at my phone or really even touching my phone. Bluetooth stereos rock. 

When I got home a made myself a little sandwich and watched YouTube videos before leaving to go to Youth. While I was at church I was to busy playing with the kids and talking to the Youth to even think about my phone. In fact I left it in my car for about 10 minutes before realizing I had not had it on me. Honestly I did feel a little naked without it. But at the same time it was nice to not have it in my pocket. I quickly returned it to its home in my right pocket. I only checked my phone for the time while in Youth.

Listened to my Indie Holidays radio on Pandora on the way home. Ate some pizza my roommate brought it and we chatted for a while. Afterward I was determined to get some sleep. Eight year old kids can really take it out of you.

Upon laying down in my bed I found myself yet again scrolling one last time through all my social outlets and news feeds to check if I missed anything. That took about 10 minutes it self but turned into 20 minutes very quickly. Found a link to a Vine and ended up watching a ton of vines. Then set my alarms on my phone and iPad and finally hit the hay.

Writing this out I have been interrupted a totally number of 3 times due to the fact of receiving notifications on my phone. Which brings me to the conclusion that one of the biggest drivers for most of our phone addictions are our notifications. When you first get a smart phone, really any cellular phone, you don’t receive a ton of notifications. But as you start using your phone more and more, you begin to receive more and more notifications on a daily bases. These notifications may only steal you away from reality for a few minutes but in those few minutes, we are in a completely different world. Our own world which is constantly bombarded by news and updates that we can never escape from. It’s even gotten to the point that we check our phones consistently even though we had not received a notification of any kind. Since cellular phones have made the huge leap into becoming smart phones, the connectivity we have with our own phones becomes a relationship. 

Let me explain.

When you first start a new relationship, romantic or friendly, you are just getting to now them and their habits, likes, dislikes, and behaviors, as do they onto you. After time you start relying on each other and forming a special bond together. You regularly talk and update each other on what you have been up to and really just gossip on news you’ve heard through out your day. It then gets to the point where when you are not talking or with this person, you feel a little empty. Like something is missing. You quickly reunite and catch up on what you’ve missed. 

Now does that not sound a little like your relationship with your cell phone?

When you first get your new phone you are excited and intrigued by it. You are constantly on it checking out all the features and figuring out how to use it. You start to form habits with it and it updates you on what’s going on. You get it a phone case and make it personalized to you. When you leave it somewhere you instantly feel naked, alone and empty without it. You quickly search and find it and instantly start scrolling through it to see what you have missed.   

We’ve made our cell phones vital parts of our daily lives. So vital that when we don’t have it, things start falling apart. Now this does not go for everyone. I know there are people out there that have healthy relationships with their phones. They use it for what they need and continue on with their day. They have the ability to live without it for a while and enjoy the finer things. I wish I could say I was in that kind of relationship with my phone. 

I just think it is interesting how connected we have all become to not only our phones but the technologies we constantly surround ourselves with. How much time are this things really taking away from ourselves? Technology is a great innovation and has taken us miles. It has made a lot of our lives easier and connected us with each other in ways we could have never imagined. It’s made our world a little bit smaller and brought us a little bit closer.

But I think we’ve crossed a line that a lot of us can not return from. 

I’ll continue to update you with my habits and rituals as I prepare for my technological hiatus. 

Thank you all for your encouraging words and cheers!

Comment and tell me, how many times have you checked your phone while reading this?


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