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  • Writer's pictureJack Winston

Don't Let The Robots Control You 🤖


Tuesday Tips is a weekly newsletter with actionable tips related to reducing screen time, increasing productivity, maintaining health & wellness, and understanding the psychology behind behavior change. To view all the tips go to

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Tuesday Tips #3: Turn Off All Non-Human Notifications

Okay, before I get into this week’s tip, I want to address the elephant in the room. The question everyone is thinking but most don’t have the guts to say it out loud. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Is “TLDR” a known acronym?

I’ve received many emails asking me what TLDR means. At first I thought they were the crazy ones - how could you not know what TLDR means? It’s basically as common as “lol”.

But as more people chimed in and asked what TLDR meant I began thinking: what if it’s me?

So this is what I’m asking from my readers: what do you think? Respond to this email about whether you think TLDR is a wide enough known acronym that it requires no explaining, or if I’ve just spent too much time on the internet and am out of touch.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming!

TL;DR (too long; didn’t read, aka a summary): Turn off all notifications from apps that aren’t sent by humans (i.e. any automatic push notifications). They’re usually useless and are designed to keep you engaged. Because we get so many notifications, it also conditions us to continually check our phone to see if there is anything new.

Okay, if no one else is going to say it, then I will:

How many f@$&ing notifications do we need from an app like Dominos?

I used to get inundated with push notifications from Dominos all the time. I would get a notification if I bought a pizza, or the pizza was on it’s way, or if there was a deal on cheesy bread, or if Hawaiian pizza was trending in my area, etc. On and on and on.

And Dominos was just one of many. Most of us have dozens of apps that send constant push notifications to try and keep us engaged.

The problem is that constant notifications provide constant distractions. And even though most of these notifications are useless, because they’re usually random, they condition us to constantly check our phone to see if there is any new, shiny notification waiting for us.

And the funny thing is: I basically never used the Dominos app. I probably downloaded it once after a party when I had some late-night craving for pizza. But I let that app notify me many times a week for years.

You can think of it like a gateway drug. “Oh, this random app I never use is offering me 50% off their product? Boring. But now that I’m here maybe I’ll just go on Instagram for a bit….”

So my recommendation: disable app notifications from apps that aren’t sent by humans. Every time you get a new, useless notification, go into your settings and immediately tell that notification to never show it's face on your phone again (i.e. disable notifications from that app).


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