Do Not Disturb

Connected devices are supposed to be our servants, not our masters. But any time I look up, I see the opposite: people breaking eye contact in conversation to check a notification; people in a park choosing to check an email instead of steeping in the outdoors; people buried in their phones. Soon, I’ll be seeing them transfixed by their wrists.

These devices are not easily placated. They don’t just command our attention, they demand it.

Hey, look at this email!

Hey, look at this text!

Hey, look at this appointment!

Hey, look at this tweet!

Hey, look at this Facebook photo!

Hey, look at this comment on Instagram!

None of these are urgent needs, but the devices, with their incessant bleets and buzzes, have convinced us they are. Every notification is a task to be completed. Every “unread” indicator is a pest to be eradicated. Every frazzled frizzing of iPhone aluminum on desk wood is a call to arms.

These are the avatars of stress. At this point, your device is not your friend. It is not your servant. It is your dominatrix, conditioning your psychology so that you only achieve pleasure if you bend to its will.

Hey, look at me instead of the world!

The best feature on the iPhone is Do Not Disturb. It’s the feature that puts you in control. It is the feature that releases you back into the world.

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