Over the years there have been a number of technological advances that were intended to make our lives easier. By getting household chores done faster (vacuum, dishwasher, etc) or reaching your destination quicker (cars, trains, etc) you could have more time to do the important things.
However, as flawed humans are inclined to do, instead of taking advantage of these new freedoms to focus on what we value most, we find ourselves busier than ever.
For all it’s magic and limitless applications the iPhone has fallen into a similar category for me. It’s always within arms reach and I have instant access to a smorgasbord of time-wasting distractions. I get caught in this trap at home as well.
When I get home from work the iPhone is in my pocket. I hug and kiss the family and start helping get dinner on the table. The iPhone is put away while we’re eating, but I can still hear it vibrate if I get a call, text or notification.
Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone is an incredible tool, but when it gets in the way of family and relating to my kids, something has got to give. That’s why I’m really excited for a singular feature in iOS 6.
Most people have anxiety about turning their phone off or putting away somewhere they can’t access it.
What if there is an emergency? What if someone tries to call me?
My challenge to that is “So what? Are you really that important?“, but that’s another discussion.
Other people have a legitimate need to have access to their phone and will actually get emergency calls/texts they need to respond to right away. This is where Do Not Disturb comes in.
By flipping the switch you’re effectively silencing all notifications along with calls and texts. However, if there is an emergency and someone tries to contact you a second time in a row the call/text will get through.
Also, you can allow phone calls from a specific group. In my case “Favorites” consists of immediate family members and a few close friends.
I love this because I’m at ease knowing that if there is a true emergency I can be reached while being freed up to mentally to focus more of my attention on our family.
Another bonus of Do Not Disturb? More sleep. You can set the feature to activate during certain times of the day/night automatically. This way you’re not getting drunk texts or Words With Friends pings at 1am.
Now, I will admit that a large part of this has to do with personal boundaries and decisions, but it’s nice to see Apple throw me a bone.
Questions: Do you suffer from iPhone separation anxiety? Have you setup any boundaries around your use of technology?