Personal Days: Texting Breakthrough

Lord, I hate groups texts.

I don't hate a bunch of friends coordinating something. Of course I want to be included and chime in. What I hate is how my phone explodes, each text, in rapid-fire, setting off the text chime.


And it's not just group texts. Any text. My life was filled with little chimes going off.

Now I'm sure you've noticed that I'm not the brightest bulb, not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I'm a bit slow.

So it took me a good few years to realize something. Something that has changed--nay, revolutionized!--my life.

Richard, I said to myself one day, you can remove that chime when a text comes in.

And the heavens parted.

It took me years to notice how the text chime was interrupting my life. It was such a little thing. Hearing the chime go off while I was in the shower, in another room, eating, talking, riding my bike to work, praying, reading. And whenever that chime went off my attention was broken. All through the day that text chime was going off, breaking my attention.

Sure, for certain moments, I would silence my phone. But I'm not going to silence my phone for most of the day. Sort of defeats the purpose.

Because, of course, there were texts that I wanted to know about immediately. But these were from a small number of people. Jana, the boys, my mom. And I realized--I know, I know, I'm slow--that I could leave the chimes on for these texts but turn it off for all others.

Because it's not like I'm going to miss a text. I look at and use my phone all the time. If you send me a text I'll see it very quickly. Plus, if it's not a text from family it's not going to be an emergency. And if it was, you can call me. The text won't ding. But the phone will ring.

And so I took out my phone one day and turned off the text chime for everyone but family.

Glory, glory hallelujah.

My life is so much quieter!

I see my texts whenever I look at my phone, which is a lot. But the wonderful thing is that my texts no longer interrupt my attention. I can't tell you how huge that has been.

I can read. And it'll be quiet. I can talk to someone. And it'll be quiet. I can shower. And it'll be quiet. I can ride my bike to work. And it'll be quite.

Turning off the text chime is the one of the best things I've ever done.

And guess what? I wrote this whole post and my phone was quiet. And I bet you a million dollars I got a few text while working on this. I'll check my phone in a minute. I see all my texts very quickly.

But no longer do they interrupt me.

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