Last Sunday, right before I went to bed, I turned off every single notification on my phone. Here’s what 7 days with zero notifications were like.

The shock of nothing

The first morning, habit had me swipe down the notifications menu. The blank ‘No Notifications’ screen gave me a jolt. It felt like being alone. Like no one in the world had thought of me in those hours while I slept.

That inert feeling

The first few days, I found myself glancing at my phone. I imagined I’d seen something flash on the screen, only to be disappointed. My phone just lay there, silent and inert. It truly was a thing, an object, now.

More tool, less companion

I developed a new rhythm. Now that my phone would not offer up the information, I had to seek…

Let’s start with a confession. I love sci-fi. Where else do we let our technological imaginations loose! A few years ago, I watched ‘Elysium’ with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. The premise of the film is that humanity is divided into the rich and privileged who live on a luxurious idyllic habitat called Elysium suspended in space above the planet, while the poor are trapped on an Earth which has gone to the dogs; resource depleted and ravaged by conflict.

Shruti Ramiah

Designer, researcher — Curious about how technology shapes humans, and how we wrestle to shape it in turn.

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