Why Do Not Disturb is the Best Feature on Your Phone

Our dog is pretty conditioned to doing the same things over and over again. One part of his routine is getting a treat any time he comes in from going outside to go to the bathroom. But he knows where the treats are and when we open the closet door, he comes running.

Sadly, people are conditioned to similar specific behavior, only with their mobile devices.

We all know someone who goes running to their phone any time it beeps, buzzes or vibrates. The pattern is easy to recognize, especially for me, as I use to be one always answering every noise it made. Because every notification was so critical, right?


One of the best features of my phone is DND, or Do Not Disturb. As technology improves and features are added with each operating system upgrade, we went from being stuck in a group text, to being able to leave, or mute it (Thank you, iOS 8). But is that really enough? What if you are locked in to several of these, on top of other texts and emails. I would say phone calls, but who really uses their phones as an actual phone these days?

But is muting text conversations enough?

I found myself tied to my phone, like a nervous habit, craving every single update, ding, and notification. And it would have slowly taken over my life if I had not started using DND more.

One day, to curb all notifications while I was at work, I put my phone on DND and left it in my pocket. I could still listen to my headphones and set any alarms that I needed, but I did not have to hassle with the stupid thing buzzing all the time and being an overall distraction.

At first, it was the same feeling of taking the training wheels off the bike and riding down the road. I knew I could do it but it sure felt strange and uncomfortable. Then after a while, I got so used to it, that I no longer liked having any notifications and leave DND on all the time. I don’t miss important calls from my wife or my kids school. More importantly, I am back in control of my phone, looking at it when I chose to, not every single time it beeps and buzzes.

Just as my dog was trained to know where the treats are, I have retrained my brain to not let my phone control me as it has in the past.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *