Take Control of Your Life – Turn OFF Social Media Notifications

Here’s my response to published author L.E. Henderson‘s post, Why I Got Into a Fight With My Phone, in which L.E. (she’s Lisa to me, but I suppose L.E. are good authorly initials) fights her phone’s constant social media notifications invading her mental space and distracting her from the task of writing.

Folks, take control of your smartphone’s Notifications. Turn OFF those damn annoying notifications. I disable notifications of ALL SOCIAL MEDIA apps and EMAIL on my phone and laptop. The only apps I allow to notify me are phone calls, text messages (NOT Facebook Messenger), and calendar notifications (I don’t want to miss doctor’s appointments). Okay, I allow App Store badges so I know when my apps have updates. Who wants buggy apps?

iPhone Notifications


But do allow important phone calls and texts through, especially if the call or text is from your spouse or sweetheart, your kid(s) if you have any (I hope for your sake that they are sweethearts at least some of the time), co-workers (perhaps), and maybe even your boss (she probably requires it). Let your calendar notify you of appointments because you don’t want miss important meetings or doctors’ appointments (you know, they charge you when you don’t show up without 24 or 48 hours). Designate certain Contacts as Favorites (my husband, son, parents, & sister) so that those calls make it through even when you have Do Not Disturb on (in case of emergency, like if my son desperately needs a Gatorade or something from McDonald’s). Pick and choose which calendars notify you. DO NOT LET FACEBOOK FEED EVERYONE’S BIRTHDAY INTO YOUR CALENDAR – what a nightmare.

Another way I cope with social media overload is by compartmentalizing social media outlets. By the way, I do engage in social media interactions for an INORDINATE amount of time daily. For those social media whiz kids reading, yes, I do have Hootsuite, but find the multiple feed streams overwhelming – at least for now. I love the Hootlet, though. Handy. So here goes: I simply CLOSE the tab on my browser and disengage. In and out. Next task. In and out. Next task. Once or if I ever master Hootsuite, I may simply periodically engage and disengage in that one application to use multiple social media platforms. Multiple social media platforms, you may ask. Yes, I’m all over cyberspace. Just take a gander at those pretty colorful icons under “LET’S CONNECT.” Each of those lovely icons links to one of my social media presences. Just for when you need an overload of me.

How do you cope with social media overload?


28 responses to “Take Control of Your Life – Turn OFF Social Media Notifications”

  1. I understand TOTALLY. Social media is extremely over-stimulating and triggers mood cycling. I’ve been hypomanic recently and no doubt headed for a dip. We’ll see how gently I land.

  2. Sometimes when I’m at my therapists office, there’s a “ding!”. She looks at me and says, “what was that?” I say, “what was what?” making her feel like she’s hallucinating. Gives me quite a laugh!

    But I’ve finally turned off notifications and don’t do any social networking on any device except for my laptop. Even still, I find it incredibly stimulating, so stimulating that, for example, I’ve been on my computer since 3 PM yesterday with the exception for eating one meal, going to the bathroom, and taking a one hour coffee break this morning. Yeah, I’ve been up all night and feeling wonderful! I’m everywhere, too, but mainly Twitter.

    But then once the stimulation lessens, I fall into a melancholy mood for a while and take a break. I would hate the idea of saying something totally wrong or off the wall. I don’t feel like myself.

    sigh Thanks for this post. Very timely… 🙂

  3. Love ferry rides! My mother grew up in Renton, WA outside of Seattle, so when we visited family we would take trips to Whidbey and Vashon Islands.

    When I worked in San Francisco and lived in Marin, I took the passenger ferry to work. I had to sit opposite San Quentin, for it disturbed me. Too much pain. I had to put on blinders to cope. Otherwise, the view was stunning. Really, San Quentin is situated on a fabulous piece of land. But, I think that I actually could feel the pain and violence – both lived in San Quentin and lived before San Quentin, of both the prisoners and of victims and their families.

    Actually, my brother-in-law and his buddies play basketball with the prisoners at San Quentin. He has a great time doing so. Hats off to my brother-in-law and his big heart.

  4. That’s how Dyane Harwood responded to this post! You are in good company.

  5. It’s hard when certain family members expect to be able to reach us no matter what. Recently my mother panicked because I had my phone off. My son was ill and I had taken him to the doctor, so she thought the worst. He just had the stomach flu. But a couple of years ago he had become so dehydrated from stomach flu, he had to be admitted into the hospital and stay there for two nights. So, she feared for the worst.

  6. Excellent idea (suggestion).

  7. Oh yeah, me too. I get the odd text. That’s about it.

    Going across to Vancouver Island is a 90 minute ride, or so. It’s hilarious, in a droll manner. The ferry loads up, everyone leaps from their cars and rushes upstairs to the main deck. Appropriate the chairs next to the windows and promptly pull out the phones and tablets. With heads slumped forward the rest of the journey engrossed in a few square inches of screen, many wear headphones. I wonder what all the panic for window seats, was about? For most seldom look out of the windows. Many never do. It’s not like the daylight was needed? … Hilarious, of a herd mentality. I usually grab a bevvy or a veggie sandwich, then head back to my car. Where after eating and drinking, make the seat prone and catch a few zees.

  8. Sometimes I feel left out because I have an old cell phone (not smart), but when I read stuff like this I’m glad all my social media stuff is confined to my desktop email.

  9. I usually turn my phone on vibrate and check it once in awhile or I will send a notification saying my phone will be off and I turn it off. It is hard to do though and my husband hates it when I do that. Even though I am home and reachable via the house phone.

  10. I often take a “Social Media Sabbath” — a 24-hour period where the only way I can be reached is by text or phone message. And the only way I reach out is in case of emergency. It has helped me become more fruitful in my life and in my writing.

  11. Yea, I can see how that would be distracting if you allowed it.

  12. I’m everywhere…

  13. It is simple how I cope with social media presence: I have almost NO social media presence. WordPress & LinkedIn. That’s it.

    Admittedly I do allow WordPress notifications, I like to reply promptly to comments. It doesn’t rule my life though, so I am all good.

    I think….

  14. Thank you. I’ve started using multiple social media platforms in my mental health advocacy quest. Otherwise, I could do without much of the noise.

  15. Social media DEFINITELY overstimulates. The electronic screens overstimulate the brain.

  16. Honestly, I love my smartphone, but for what I can do with it, not what others can do to contact me.

  17. Healthy choice. I experience phone calls as intrusions into my peace, into my home, into my sanctuary, and cannot stand it when the phone rings. (In fact, I swear obscenities when the land line does ring.)

    Since I’m a mother and a wife, texts from my son and calls from my husband (different generations) are the only communications that matter enough to welcome (or tolerate) the interruption.

  18. You’re welcome! I feel honored. 🙂

  19. Thank YOU for the inspiration.

  20. I like the idea of turning off text messages if you are gettng too many. You could turn off the sound and just keep badges or banners. Badges (on iPhone) are the least annoying.

  21. Without a doubt!

  22. I think I also live ‘under a rock’ because I don’t use Facebook, Twitter or smart phones. That being said, I realise how it’s becoming more prevalent – everyone being glued to their screens and not being able to focus on one task without checking their phones. Your post is very informative and thought-provoking. Thank you 🙂

  23. I am not on FB and don’t really Twitter except for friends and blog post notifications. Don’t know the other things. I am fighting constantly to keep up with animal and some political activism, the blog and reading other people’s blogs and commenting. Was getting totally overwhelmed. When manic follow 10 more people. When depresssed can’t cope. Also I do close to no email or much blog stuff on weekends. It is a problem. Thanks for posting. xx ellen

  24. I don’t have or particularly want (now that I have read this outstanding post)
    a smart phone!

    Yep, I live in the dark ages, but I’m satisfied with my battered, old “dumbphone” for now!

  25. I did so, turn off the app functions, about three years back. Those apps constantly drain the battery, as well as being an annoyance. I only use my phone, as a phone. I even turned off the email function. I only have a cellphone, ditched the landline 5 years ago. My phone sits on a shelf, for the most part. I seldom answer any number I do not recognize. Once others realize I pay for my phone for my own convenience, not theirs. We’ll all be happier. Call me, unplugged in Nelson.

  26. Love the post Kitt and thanks so much for linking to my blog! Your advice is helpful and motivates me to disable even more notifications than I already have. 🙂

  27. Great post. I keep the phone open and have notifications for text messages only, and honestly, it’s still too much. I’m working on a workable solution…

    My problem is that I’m an introverted extrovert. I handle and thrive on the social frenzy…until I just don’t. I’m considering turning off text message alerts and checking every hour or so to make sure I don’t miss something important. I don’t know. I could be a more productive writer if I could get a handle on all this.

    Thanks for helping me think through it. 🙂

  28. I am pretty noise sensitive so I have my phone’s ringer turned OFF most of the time, haha. But when it is on, the only notifications I get are for phone calls and for text messages. Makes life a lot more tolerable and manageable 🙂 Thanks for the post Kitt!

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