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Beth Skwarecki @bethskw
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I wrote this for Lifehacker about how all your notifications are LIES and today is a good day to turn off all your notifications, so enjoy: lifehacker.com/your-notificati

@bethskw 'They’re not really interacting with you as a person. They just clicked something while being vaguely reminded of your presence.' - Brutal.

True - but brutal.

@bethskw SO TRUE. Great article, and.... now I"m going to go romp through my notifications and turn off everything that isn't my family or my glucometer telling me I'm about to fall down.

Actually, much of it is already off.

@bethskw Totally agree. One of the first things I do when I set up a new phone or install a new app is pare down the notifications to the bare minimum.

My list is similar to yours -- direct messages from actual people get both visual and audio alerts -- though I do allow visual-only notices on email and social media replies (but not likes or retweets).

@bethskw yes yes yes!! I couldn't imagine using my phone and desktop with notifications enabled.

@bethskw I'm very anti-notification militant. My phone is in DND mode 90% of the time. If it's important I'll get a vmail or Wickr message. All other notifications .... Psssh

@bethskw That was a good article. It's so true. So many are glued to notifications.

@bethskw I liked that read. It was a good one. I've turned off notifications for a lot of stuff, but I really appreciate the tip about turning it off on the device instead of the app!

@maloki especially because it's so easy to get sucked in if you go to the app! Glad you liked it.

. @bethskw I've been doing this for years, but I realized that I am never happy when my phone interrupts me. So I moved to the next level. Do Not Disturb at all times without exceptions.

I will look at my phone once an hour be it to check the time or in order to kill a few moments. It's more than enough to see and respond to the notifications I deem important.

It gives you a bit of time to think about the upcoming interaction too and not get caught by surprise.

@bethskw I turned them off some time ago, because I find them SO irritating.

@bethskw I'm curious how you view notifications on things like mastodon and decentralised social networks. some of the arguments against notifications don't apply there but is that enough to make them not bad? also, what are the upsides of notifications and how could those be carried over into a reimagining of communication systems (while getting rid of the glaring flaws)?

@eel I don't think there's a blanket answer for everyone. If your Mastodon notifications bring you joy, keep them on! (I do). I like when clients let you separate likes and boosts from replies

@bethskw I guess the interrupting quality of push notifications stays. maybe pull notifications are the way to go, with push being reserved for actually urgent stuff?
hmm, but then you might be led to constantly pull even though there is nothing new. remember compulsively refreshing your e-mail inbox every minute?

I guess you're right and granular configurability is the answer. or maybe a (user-happiness first) best-practice can emerge through it.

sorry for rambling^^

@eel No I think it's good to be thoughtful about it! Maybe push notifications should be off by default, or invite the user to configure during the setup process.

@bethskw masto is already doing that pretty well I guess. could use better defaults maybe but the configurability is there for the most part. what it is lacking is some sort of read/unread system that might make pulling(checking) your mentions more frictionless

@eel The nice thing is there's plenty of room for clients to experiment with this. Masto is definitely at an advantage since there's no incentive to make unnecessary notifications like "you may have missed..." Or "your friends liked..."

@bethskw I really liked this piece. I had already implemented most of your suggestions due to the anxiety they cause, but definitely a good reminder.

@bethskw Tangentially - I turned off the automatic sorting/categorizing and most of the rules on my email accounts after your article nudged me to think about *why* I keep most of the subscriptions.

I wiped out the backlog and I'm currently batch processing my email once a day to unsubscribe.