Your life will be better if you turn off push notifications (and all notifications)

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Of course. On my phone i have very few notifications on, i hate getting them, and i’m super fastidious as far as making sure my lockscreen is clutter free of unneeded information. Whenever i look at other people’s phones and theres a ton of notifications i die inside.


My iPhone is always on Do Not Disturb mode. It’s set such that phone calls from anyone in my phonebook come through as well as redials within a certain time frame but otherwise nothing else does.

I mean I check it every 20 minutes or so anyway and if something can’t wait 20 minutes it should have been a phone call anyway.

I really can’t understand people who have audible alerts for things like Facebook and Twitter posts. I even know some people who have push notifications for news stories. Literally the only reason my phone makes a sound is for text messages (because that’s how my kids reach me ASAP) or when someone actually calls me. Anything else can wait until I check it.


Text messages are the only notifications I have on…and I have certain convos and people muted. Anything and everything else can wait.


On the other hand, it is astonishing the number of websites that assume I want their every precious tidbit. Click through ten BB links, you’ll be offered nine exciting new notification streams!


I think that it’s less a belief that you want the notifications and more the fact that in the ‘attention economy’ the default posture is ‘aggressive panhandler’.


I was about to say that I’ve never had push notifications turned on for anything, but I’m not sure that’s true. I think I had an app that notified me of the new discover of exoplanets, but it did it in lumps (“285 new exoplanets have been discovered!”). Even that’s been quiet for a while.
I can’t even imagine using social media like twitter and having notifications - that just seems like asking for trouble.

It’s possible that I regularly say, out loud, “Are you fucking kidding me?!” when confronted with websites wanting to send me push notifications. Some of these sites, I can’t imagine any human being other than the owner would want notifications.

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I take the opposite approach, I keep my phone off of my person, but the notifications let me know what I missed while I was away. However, I also don’t have anything but phone, text, and other reasonable things on my phone. No social media!

I have been on-call, with a pager or better on me, nearly every single day since 1998. (Seriously, in the last 20 years there have been perhaps six weeks total where my responsibilities were covered and I actually went off the grid).

When you spend that much time on-call, you learn the importance of filtered notifications. Take the time to practice some notification-minimization work:

  • Do I need this on my lock screen / banners when my phone is open? Can I just put this in notification center?
  • If I do need it, does it need to badge my icon?
  • Does it need to make sound?
  • Do I need both a phone notification and an email notification?



Technically, I’ve been on call for 20 years too. But… well, my employers gave me a pager once.

When they got it back three days later it was heavily scarred, partially melted, and not functioning. I said “I’m sorry, it was on my belt at all times, I just don’t think it is compatible with my lifestyle”.

My coworker who maintained the pagers said “maybe the battery is dead” and opened up the battery compartment, and beer ran out onto the floor. I might have laughed.

I kind of felt bad about stale beer stinking up his office, but not really about destroying the pager. I helped clean the rug.

Nowadays they give me a $50 smart phone, which has never had the ringer turned on (except once by accident and it scared the hell out of me.) Apparently my life has calmed down a little, though, I’ve only accidentally destroyed two of them so far.


My husband always has SO MANY notifications and it makes me nuts because he doesn’t see my texts half the time under the avalanche of them.


Same, I’m technically on call 24/7. Only when I’m truly out on PTO with someone covering everything I do am I truly off the grid. That said, I’m really only bothered a handful of times a year because I filter everything heavily before I see it. Everyone knows that if it’s high priority it requires a phone call. Email, text, etc… I’ll check on periodically during normal hours. I could respond to email all night if I wanted to, but I’ve created the expectation that I won’t and I keep my technology from worming that crap into my brain when I should be with family.

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My phone only notifies me for calls, texts and emails (and I tightly control my email, so it’s only a few a day). It would be a completely unusable piece of garbage if I didn’t set it up that way. I think you’ll have a hard time convincing anyone who hasn’t already turned off most notifications on their own, because they clearly use their phone in a completely different manner that’s incomprehensible to us.

I have just about all notifications turned off and silenced. I use xposed modules to reconfigure some to be clearable or remove vibrations. It’s great. I am the master of my phone!

I’ve Greenify’d everything, including things I shouldn’t have. I have a shit ton of apps installed but still get excellent battery life.

10 out of 10. Would recommend rooting phone.


Fortunately I’m not important and I can ignore all my notifications, but they’re slowing my phone down, so this is still a good idea.

Also, pro-tip if you’re tired of websites asking to give you push notifications (on Firefox Sept 2019):

Hamburger menu>Options>Privacy & Security>Notifications (Settings)> Click the box labeled “Block new requests asking to allow notifications.”


Okay, but how do we make our lives better if we never had push notifications turned on in the first place?

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I killed all my monthly data cap by leaving an app open
earlier this week and I need emergence some how

Is that a choice he’s made (to receive so many notifications) or can you turn them off for him. Would he notice?

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What strikes me in this thread is that everybody answering is against notifications. Yet, there are plenty of people who let their phone beep every second minute, for messages, news and advertisements. I see some in public transport or other public places, for example.

I really wonder why we don’t appear to have any here. Who are those people, why do they set up their phones in that way and what benefits do they get from what I perceive as a constant distraction?

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