“Are those all your notifications?!” A friend looked at my phone, horrified.
As a business owner (or heck, just someone who lives in the world), it can be challenging to figure out tech manners and a tech personal code of conduct.
I recently decided to set a couple personal boundaries with my phone:
1) Turn off email notifications. Me getting an email is as frequent as my dog thinking about food.
2) Sleep with my phone outside my bedroom.
I posted this ‘boundaries’ idea to Facebook and got some great ideas from others about it.
Differentiate Between ‘Work’ and ‘Personal’
As you see, I sort of started to do this here (‘Personal Social’ versus ‘Social Media’) but did not fully commit. My friends have ideas on this.
I use different apps for personal and work email. Work email goes in an app I have to open a folder for — means it isn’t right there in my home screen every time I look down.
My notification light is different for different email accounts.
I turned off all my social media notifications (except for work) and that helps a ton!
Use Do Not Disturb… And Tell People
My friend Kathy brought up the point about modeling behavior. The adage ‘What you put up with, you end up with’ applies to tech too. Here are some ways people made themselves incommunicado without trying to make people uncomfortable.
There is a do not disturb function on most phones. Between 11 pm and 6 am it stays silent.
(Note, there was a lot of variation as to times people had this turned on. Let’s say I can now tell which of my friends are more night owls and which are more morning people.)
I use DND on my phone from 10pm until 9am with certain numbers programmed to break through in case of real emergencies.
I let people know verbally and in written communication that I will respond to them, for instance, M-F 9-5, and ask them to make personal contact at those times so they aren’t frustrated at no response at odd hours.
Just Saying No In Other Ways
If you feel like you’ve ‘tried everything’ this may be your section.
I don’t check email on my phone.
Various people on my friends list:
Don’t have a phone at all or do something relatively extreme to the phone you do have (among the responses: hammers, hot oil, don’t tell anyone your phone number).
All in all, it was fun to figure out how people figured out their own personal ‘rules’ with cell phone technology. If you have any other ideas, please feel free to contribute them as a comment here!