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Notifications: Off

Live Life More with Less Alerts on your Mobile Device

Updated

By Joyce Reyes-Aguila

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What is the difference between life and push notifications? Well, life, according to Forrest Gump is “like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re going to get.” And with push notifications, you can almost always find out what you are going to get.

If you do not know yet, push notifications are the alerts or messages that pop up in mobile devices any time of day. They are designed by app publishers to be able to send reminders, promotions, or updates to users who have elected to receive them. Push notifications are a two-way street, you see. As a user, you only receive them if you choose to after installing an app. Sports fans usually like receiving notifications. It keeps them updated about game scores or the latest news in the leagues they follow. They are created to hopefully drive user behavior to be more active in an app or spend more on promos.

But not everyone is a fan of push of notifications, just like not all of us are in love with chocolates. The constant alerts can disturb users during sleep or while they are focused on an activity. The good news is that you can turn off some or all notifications and have control of the alerts you receive. Simply go to your gadget’s settings, choose Apps, and turn the switch off next to “Allow Notifications.” Aside from the silence, you will reap these additional benefits that may enjoy like a box of chocolates (or chips, if you do not have a sweet tooth).

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  • Choose what is important.

Not all e-mails and alerts are made equal, but when you agree to let all kinds of these interrupt you, they have the right to do so anytime. News about a Hollywood divorce may disturb your sleep (and keep you up because their separation is proof that there is no “forever” in love). A game update can distract you as you are about to finish an important work presentation. Consider the implications to your productivity and health when perennially disturbed by news. Decide what you want to know right away, and what can be set aside for later.

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  • Avoid spoilers.

The last thing you want push notifications to be is like one of your friends who recently spoiled Avengers: Infinite War movie for you. By selecting the type of alerts you get, you can filter to get only breaking news instead of game alerts. You can select the teams you want to be updated about or learn only about shoe sales instead of bags. “Smart phones are not the problem,” says David Pierce in the article “Turn Off Your Notifications. All of Them” on wired.com. “It’s all the buzzing and dinging, endlessly calling for your attention.” The writer’s solution is to turn off all notifications. “You’ll discover that you don’t miss the stream of cards filling your lock screen, because they never existed for your benefit. They’re for brands and developers, methods by which thirsty growth hackers can grab your attention anytime they want.”

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  • Opt out of irrelevant offers.

If the sole purpose of downloading an app of a department store abroad is to get additional store discount, then why are you still receiving alerts now that you are back home?  There is really no sense in receiving alerts about weekend sales or free shipping offers unless you purchase online from here. Users usually turn off notifications because they are irrelevant or not personalized based on their interest. Review your apps and alert settings for these. You can even end up deleting an app because the specific reason for having it no longer exists.

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  • Be the boss.

“It’s not like turning off notifications shuts you out from using the apps you like,” says Pierce. “It just puts you back in control; you’re on your phone when you want to… Apps like Instagram and Facebook are built to show you the best stuff every time you open the app – you won’t miss much by ignoring notifications.” Decide when you want to receive information and reminders. You can select to only see calendar reminders, text messages, and e-mail notifications right away. The rest, as they say, is just noise.

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