I'm an anxious person.
Wait, strike that. I'm striving not to carelessly apply labels. I sometimes suffer from anxiety. There. That's better.
I sometimes suffer from anxiety. Having spent the majority of my waking adult life in front of a screen, I'm no stranger to the anxiety-inducing nature of life online in 2017. The average computer or smartphone user has hundreds of apps vying for their attention, each hoping to take a slice.
It didn't used to be this way. Before 2009 and the introduction of Apple's Push Notification Service, your iPhone left you alone except for when you received a phone call or a text message. Those were simpler times.
Now, if we don't do something about it, we're subject to a near-constant buzzing and chirping. Emails. Text messages. Tweets. Likes. It doesn't stop. As a technologist, I feel almost apologetic for the culture of distraction that is now our everyday reality.
That's why I want to do you a favor. I'm going to make a suggestion that hopefully will change your life for the better. Ready?
Turn off all your notifications.
That's right. Turn them all off. Even your text messages. Maybe leave your phone call notifications on so people can reach you in case of an emergency. But you haven't experienced the serenity the people of the twentieth century took for granted until you turn off all your smartphone notifications.
Afraid you'll miss something? You won't. If something is important enough, someone will call you.