It happened so suddenly. I don’t remember exactly when it was as it was all so sudden yet it seems it has always been that way, a creeping yet speeding glacial movement. It seemed such an amazing feature, from the first time I configured my WAP settings on my clamshell phone and downloaded the headers of my work emails on the tube in Edgeware through to ‘always on’ Internet and beyond into emails alerting me 24×7 to their constant presence. And now there is GDPR, a constant stream of emails and alerts informing me I have to act now to stay in the loop, to stay connected, a barrage of emails telling my immediate response is required in order to keep up the barrage of emails. How the non-urgent carved themselves a niche in my psyche and it all happened so fast I hadn’t realised it was happening at all, I was so happy to be needed, to be wanted, to be alerted immediately that there was something or someone that needed my attention.
Well now I am finding that attention is in short supply, that multi-tasking has been tested and found wanting, that screens and bleeps and alerts drain creativity and imagination faster than scrolling though endless posts of ‘notice me’ posts on those social media soapboxes.
Today I have taken back control, I have implemented by own uni-lateral E-Mexit. I have turned off all the sounds, the alerts, the banners and all I have left are the badges. From now it’s like 1997 on my phone, I will check my emails at my convenience, when I have cleared a space in my mind to review and deal with whatever has arrived in the intervening minutes, hours or days without being distracted from whatever was that task in hand – like perhaps writing this blog, distraction-free, bleep-free, bing, ping and bong-free.
So if you have just emailed me expecting an immediate response all I can do is apologise for your unsolicited expectation. I, for one, have taken back control – maybe you should too?