Quiet instant notifications

Written on 23 November 2011, 04:47pm

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I recently came across an article against instant notifications on the mobile devices:

You receive a new message, say an email or a tweet, and at that very moment your software decides to do something stupid. A little red bubble appears over its icon. A ringing bell is heard. Sometimes even the message itself will pop up over your screen announcing its arrival and inviting you to read it.
Is it not rude to disturb people? Does the software assume you were sitting there doing absolutely nothing, just waiting for that update? Not only does it decide to disturb you, it does it in the most forceful way it possibly can, using every weapon at its disposal: sounds, colors and animations.

I must say that I do not fully agree with this view. And the main reason is that the reason why these notifications pop up on your screen is you. It’s you who allowed Twitter to send you notifications, it’s you who set up the push/fetch email, so you cannot really complain about that. You have the power to enable them, as well as turn them down.
But what I would like to have is a mechanism to shut down all the notifications. (more…)