Why I Keep My Text Message Notifications on Silent

At work, I am known for responding to emails and Twitter mentions immediately.

At home and beyond, I am known for responding to text messages at a much more leisurely pace.

Some people might be surprised to know that I keep text message audio notifications on silent. Because I elect to do this, I take it upon myself to manually check my phone every 10 minutes or so for new messages. However, it is quite easy for me to become sidetracked. Lately, I have found myself feeling bad for leaving people hanging for an hour or more.

Why do I insist on silencing my text messages? Well, there are a couple reasons. First, I am involved in various group text message threads, including a thread for my family and a thread for Sid’s family. As you can imagine, these are pretty active. If I had audio notifications on, my phone would ding all day (and all night) long.

There are also a few Twitter feeds that I get sent directly to my phone via text message for work purposes. It is unnecessary and annoying to have a chime, chirp, or jangle to let me know that one came through.

I like to think that I don’t silence my text messages just for my own sanity. I feel like I am being respectful of others as well. But I know this notion might not resonate with those finding themselves waiting an hour or more for me to respond to a text (“those” meaning basically just my wife and family members…I don’t have many friends). Please know that it is never my intention to “ice” someone and that I am trying to do a better job at making sure I don’t go long periods of not checking my text messages.

When out of the office, unless I am at church (in which case I don’t even have my phone on me) or at a movie, I always have audio notifications on for calls and emails. Those who know me well have figured this out–if you want to be 100% sure you get a hold of me, call me. In my experience, phone calls and emails always carry more urgency and importance than a casual text message.

Well, it has taken me a little over 10 minutes to write this, so please excuse me while I sign off and check my phone for text messages. Don’t Blink.

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