Starting to Accept Technology in Life

I experienced life before answering machines! I loved them (and caller ID) because they increased our ability to decide whether to be interrupted. From there on out though, our whole culture seemed to shift to create and embrace technologies that make us increasingly available to each other all the time. I am a people pleaser. Technologies that show when messages are read cause me mini paralyzation attacks. I feel like I must answer but I also slightly resent being expected to.

I have not previously allowed reminders, alerts, or notifications on my desktop and have them disabled on my phone. My experience of them is about the same as my experience of advertisements, they feel intrusive and distracting. If I’m in the space to respond to messages I’ll check them myself. Lately though, the BOY team made an editorial calendar and I decided to accept some reminders and notifications because I recognize that their purpose is to help me reach my own goals. Today while I was choosing what music to listen to while repotting plants and cleaning the floors, a little alarm clock icon slid onto my screen telling me I need to deliver a blog tomorrow.

It’s been about 2 months since our team coordinated calendars and this is the first time I’ve seen a reminder and found a stopping point in my day to do what the reminder tells me I ought to. I’m trying to organize my schedule so that I choose when to do my projects and tasks. But, I’m also trying to be flexible and not vilify technology (I tend to do that in lots of way). So when a little icon reminds me of a deadline I’m unprepared for it’s in my own best interest to just change course and get it done.

How do you interact with notifications, reminders, alerts, messages, and alarms from your various devices? Do you have personal rules around them? Do you communicate your rules to people close to you? Do you ask for your loved ones to respond to their reminders in any certain way while you are together? How do you best take advantage of them to help you stay organized?

As I said, I tend to vilify technology in my mind. I recommend this On Being episode featuring Anil Dash because he gives lots of examples as to how communication technology and the internet can be harnessed for good.

Link to podcast episode with Anil Dash.