By Shana Kongmun
Is there such a thing
as too connected?
I recently switched phones as my
Blackberry was starting to go and the slow spinning clock was starting to
drive me mad. My new phone does not have the persistent blinking light of
the Blackberry simply a chirpy little whistle. While at first I missed that
blinking light, after a few days it was a relief to not always be notified
of an incoming email or Facebook notification.
It ties in with an article I read that said people who use smartphones like
that for work tend to be less productive and more stressed as they feel they
are always working. For me, at least that came to be true. I felt like my
phone was running my life. However, I wasn’t just concerned with work emails
but checking the multitude of Facebook notifications coming in. Something
about that blinking red light compelled me to check and stop the blinking
My new phone doesn’t blink. It whistles at me when I get a new email or
notification and leaves a little envelope in the upper hand corner but the
blinking has blessedly stopped. Do I feel less stressed? Actually, yes I do.
It’s like the phone is no longer forcing me to look at it. It’s amazing how
quickly the habit got broken and the relief I feel to not look at my phone
to see if its blinking or not.
Oddly, I am no less connected than I was before, I still get all my emails,
urgent or not. I still get Facebook notifications although interestingly not
as many as online or as on my old phone. Now, amazingly wonderfully, it is
only notifications from things that directly affect me, posts made to me, or
posts I have commented on. I am not sure what is different about the new
phone, an Android, but whatever it is, thank you for that. I didn’t really
need to get a notification for every memey poster a friend put up. It was
disheartening to wake up to over 100 notifications on my phone in the
Somehow, I feel less compelled to always check my emails, to make sure I am
up to date on everything on Facebook. I feel less compelled to always know
what is going on in the cyber world around me and I am now looking around at
the real world instead.
The relief is palpable. I wonder now why I hung on to my Blackberry for so
long, worried that no other phone could fill its shoes. This new phone is
not filling its shoes and for that I am eternally grateful.
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