my avatar, a simple three line smiley face notifications & rss

It feels like everything wants your attention. Almost every single app on your phone wants to send you notifications. Many websites or blogs want you to subscribe to their newsletter, just like any shop you've ordered something from does. And, to be honest, it sucks getting bombarded with all that stuff all the time.

I've recently read a blog-post by Amolith ( called Pull vs push: intentional notifications, which is a really good post, feel free to give it a read as well.

The jist of it: When you get bombarded with notifications (think of your smartphone: it vibrates, makes a noise), they grab your attention and want you to check them immedeately, interrupting what you're doing right now. And, be honest, most of the time the notification is basically useless, not urgent or not relevant. Still, it interrupted and distracted you from what you wanted to do. Amolith calls this a push-based system. Such a system is pretty bad for non-urgent notifications, because if you are focused doing something and get interrupted, you need some time until you are focused again—and just then, the next notification distracts you.

Enter the pull-based system: you decide when you want to check your notifications. If you want to know what happened on social media, you check social media. Don't check social media when social media wants you to check it. Same goes for everything else that's not urgent.

I myself disabled most notifications on my smartphone. The only apps allowed to send push notifications are instant messaging apps (but not all chats) and my e-mail client (but not every folder of every inbox). Basically just the stuff where I want to know when someone messaged me something.

Another thing I can really agree with Amolith is the use of RSS feeds. I like to follow some blogs, and instead of visiting a dozen or so sites, I just visit my miniflux instance and quickly skim over the new posts. If I'm interested in something, I read it, if not, I discard it. Don't be fooled into thinking that RSS feeds are some really old, useless thing of the past. They are your best friend when following a pull-based system.

TL;DR: Take a look at RSS feeds and RSS readers. Try a pull-based notification system instead of a push-based system. You might love it.